Girls Golf: Seniors setting positive tone for Hilliard Bradley's season
Senior leadership may hold the key to success for the Hilliard Bradley girls golf team.
The Jaguars have three returning starters, all seniors who have taken the leadership reins under first-year coach Aleya Peete.
Seniors Callie Hribar (honorable mention all-league), Logan Parkin (second-team all-league) and Allie Waggener (honorable mention all-league) return from a team that finished fourth (14-12) in the OCC-Cardinal Division behind champion Dublin Jerome (26-0).
"Having three seniors in the lineup really gives us a strong base for the season because we have that much more experience," Hribar said. "We're able to band together and lead the team because we have that experience.
"Coach said we're her second hand to communicate to the team. She has confidence in us, and we feel we have a responsibility to lead the team. We feel like assistant coaches."
Peete, the daughter of former PGA Tour player Calvin Peete, played four years at Delaware State before attending Ohio State for her master's in art education. She is a first-year art teacher at Darby Elementary.
"I always think it's helpful to have a good group of seniors," Peete said. "They have played these courses for the last three years and that can be so helpful with the incoming players."
Sophomore Gabby Starrett returns and freshmen Taylor Henoch and McKenzie Miller round out the roster.
"I appreciate the camaraderie of this team," Peete said. "All of the players on the team get along well, and chemistry is always important to a team's success."
The Jaguars started the season with a 177-185 win over Marysville on Aug. 6 at Mentel Memorial. Miller was medalist with a 38, with Parkin and Waggener shooting 46 each and Hribar adding a 47.
"It was good to start like that," Hribar said. "(The younger players) are excited maybe because we are excited as seniors. We want to have a comfortable and collaborative environment on the team, and we want to keep positivity going and to keep that as the vibe of the team."
The Jaguars opened OCC-Cardinal play Aug. 12 at Mentel Memorial. They play in the second round of the four-round league tournament Wednesday, Aug. 19, at Blacklick Woods.
Panthers have high expectations
Darby expects to be competitive, as it returns four experienced players to fill its top four spots.
Senior Maria Hayes entered the season as the top golfer for the Panthers, who made history last season by advancing to their first Division I district tournament.
Sophomores Aimee Hayes, Zaria Hampton and Lexy Aurand return to fill spots two through four, respectively, in the lineup.
Junior Isabella Centeno and seniors Bailey Miller, Michaela Hamet and Rebekah Malone are expected to rotate in the No. 5 spot.
Darby also is coming off tying Delaware for second place (20-6) in the OCC-Cardinal behind Dublin Jerome (26-0). The Panthers opened the four-round league tournament Aug. 12 at Mentel Memorial.
"We have high expectations for the year in terms of our own achievements, but we know there's a few teams that are next-level good," third-year coach Clay Rice said. "We have girls that can play well and be out there with them. So (we want to) kind of compete with them when we're (playing) in our (league matches) and kind of show that we're comfortable with those next-level teams."
One of those expectations includes earning another district tournament berth.
"I think it's very doable, seeing that (our top four golfers) have played all summer and have played a lot of summer tournaments and have only improved coming into this year," Rice said. "I know going into sectionals this year we should be able to have another good day and hopefully qualify for districts and hopefully compete a little better at districts than we did last year."
Maria Hayes had a 98 at district to lead the Panthers, who shot 414 to finish last of nine teams.
"We have total intentions of getting back to district this year, possibly getting farther than that if that's possible," she said.
-- Stephen Borgna
Wildcats looking for improvement
Davidson coach Bob Winland is hoping his team can improve on a disappointing OCC-Central finish from a season ago.
The Wildcats, who opened the four-round league tournament Aug. 12 at Royal American, went 3-17 last season to finish fifth behind eventual Division I state champion New Albany (20-0).
The OCC-Central also features Upper Arlington and Dublin Coffman.
"We have the toughest league in the state," said Winland, who is in his 12th season. "You have returning (state) champion New Albany and they have pretty much everybody back. They're a frontrunner to win the state (title) again. UA is strong and Coffman is always tough. ... We have to worry just about ourselves and continue to improve. We have some strengths, but there's just some teams that have more ability."
Senior Kacy Harsh led the Wildcats by shooting 90 in a Division I sectional last season at Mentel Memorial. She also led Davidson with an 89.5 league average.
"Kacy is our No. 1 again, so I'm looking forward to a nice year with her," Winland said. "She's a great leader, a great person, a great scorer. She competes with anybody, so she'll do a nice job for us this year."
Senior Ainsley Guthrie and junior Abby Emery also competed at sectional, and juniors Olivia Bradley and Emma Cotter also return.
Winland said Guthrie, Cotter and Emery have been competing for the second spot behind Harsh.
Junior Madi Richards rounds out the team.
"These girls are experienced, they're all juniors and seniors, and they've had some varsity playing time," Winland said. "We'll have some people who will know how to play. We just need to get the scores."
Davidson will compete in the second round of the league tournament Wednesday, Aug. 19, at New Albany Links.
"We're really glad that we can get out and play this year," Winland said. "We're one of the fortunate few (sports). Who knows if it might get canceled? You just have to take it and appreciate what you have."
-- Frank DiRenna
At a glance
*Coach: Aleya Peete, first season
*Top players: Callie Hribar, Logan Parkin and Allie Waggener
*Key losses: Rachael Rice and Lindsey Thom
*2019 OCC-Cardinal standings: Dublin Jerome (26-0), Darby and Delaware (both 20-6), Bradley (14-12), Dublin Scioto (8-18), Olentangy Berlin and Worthington Kilbourne (both 5-21), Thomas Worthington (0-14)
*2019 postseason: Seventh at sectional
*Coach: Clay Rice, third season
*Top players: Lexy Aurand, Zaria Hampton, Aimee Hayes and Maria Hayes
*Key loss: Morgan Bair
*2019 OCC-Cardinal standings: Jerome (26-0), Darby and Delaware (20-6), Bradley (14-12), Scioto (8-18), Berlin and Kilbourne (both 5-21), Thomas (0-14)
*2019 postseason: Third at sectional, ninth at district
*Coach: Bob Winland, 12th season
*Top players: Emma Cotter, Abby Emery, Ainsley Guthrie and Kacy Harsh
*Key losses: Kara Brabb and Natalie Myers
*2019 OCC-Central standings: New Albany (20-0), Upper Arlington (16-4), Dublin Coffman (12-8), Marysville (8-12), Davidson (3-17), Canal Winchester (1-19)
*2019 postseason: Ninth at sectional