Thomas Worthington Roundup: Boys golf squad feeling confident

STEPHEN BORGNA
sborgna@thisweeknews.com
Paari Kaviyarasu, a junior who was second-team all-league last season, is the top returnee for the Cardinals boys golf team.

The Thomas Worthington boys golf team lost about a week to the school district's temporary suspension of athletics July 30, costing the Cardinals a chance to compete in the opening round of the OCC-Cardinal Division tournament Aug. 6 at Turnberry.

They played in the second of four rounds Aug. 12 at Apple Valley and finished third (329) behind Dublin Jerome (292) and Olentangy Berlin (324). The third round is Wednesday, Aug. 26, at Denison Golf Club.

"I think as far as the OCC goes, if we can finish in the top three of our division, that is a solid goal," 14th-year coach Jay Addy said. "We'd also like to get our team up to Apple Valley at district. Once you get up to district, it's an anything-can-happen type of atmosphere."

Junior Paari Kaviyarasu, who earned second-team all-league honors last year, was happy the season was allowed to resume.

"It's fair to say that we were all upset about missing the first week, especially because we missed an OCC tournament," he said. "However, we are all glad and thankful that we are still able to play. (We want to) be consistent and to keep improving."

Kaviyarasu holds the top spot in the lineup for the Cardinals, with senior Noah Jackman filling the second spot. Addy said those two form a formidable one-two punch.

Jackman shot a 78 to lead the Cardinals in a Division I sectional at Darby Creek last season, and Kaviyarasu shot an 82.

On Aug. 12 in the second round of league play, Kaviyarasu and Jackman led the Cardinals with a 75 and 76, respectively.

"We've got a really solid (No.) 1 and (No.) 2 man," Addy said. "Both Paari and Noah, they catch fire on any one day. They can easily compete with anybody in the area."

Junior Marshall Wellejus is in the No. 3 spot, while the fourth and fifth spots will consist of a rotation of seniors Owen Appel and Colin Corbett and freshman Will Reis.

"We have three guys working in and out of the last two spots that are all going to contribute," Addy said.

Girls golf team aims to compete

The girls golf team believes it has the personnel and the experience to be more competitive this season.

The Cardinals are coming off an eighth-place finish (0-14) in the OCC-Cardinal last fall. But after having five girls to start last year and not competing in the postseason, Thomas has 10 players and the returnees all have additional experience.

"The big goal I would say is winning matches this year," third-year coach Rodney Hopkins said. "Last year was more 'let's get the girls comfortable with the sport and teach them the rules.' Now I think we're in a place where we should be able to compete and win some matches, and take five solid girls to sectional."

In the first round of the four-round OCC-Cardinal tournament Aug. 12 at Mentel Memorial, Thomas placed seventh (485) behind first-place Jerome (325) in its first event of the season. The Cardinals finished ahead of Kilbourne (491).

The second round was Aug. 19 at Blacklick Woods.

"We as a team just really want to have fun and have a good time out there playing and not stress too much," junior Devyn Miller said. "But we very much want to do well and want to be as good as any other team."

Miller is the Cardinals' No. 3 player. Junior newcomer Claudia Scott is in the top spot, with junior returnees Anna Poklar at No. 2 and Kerry Burnham at No. 4.

The final spot will feature a rotation of players.

"We're trying to fill it out," Hopkins said. "I'm fortunate this year in that I have 10 girls, which is the most I've had in three years. Honestly, probably, three through 10 are all pretty close."

Girls tennis team short on experience

With an inexperienced roster, fifth-year girls tennis coach Andy Sinclair hopes the team gains valuable experience and has fun while playing.

"Overall, we're a pretty inexperienced team this year with the exception of Kate Haydel-Brown, and our division is a tough division," Sinclair said. "Our goal is to get everybody a lot of experience, and we're going to have some fun playing matches.

"We've got a great team, (with) great camaraderie and great personalities. I think a realistic goal for us this year would be to finish (in) third or fourth place."

Haydel-Brown, a senior, will play first singles.

"She looks to be head and shoulders above everybody," Sinclair said. "Both Riley Dodson and Sydney Cooke graduated; Kate is the heir to the No. 1 throne."

The second- and third-singles spots are projected to be junior Yashna Rana and senior Francesca Decker, respectively.

First doubles is expected to consist of sophomore twins Meggie and Judy Ray, while second doubles currently features a rotation of players.

Last season, Thomas finished 2-13 overall and 1-6 in the OCC-Cardinal.

The Cardinals opened Aug. 19 at home against Hartley.

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve

At a glance

BOYS GOLF

*Coach: Jay Addy, 14th season

*Top players: Noah Jackman, Paari Kaviyarasu and Marshall Wellejus

*Key losses: None

*2019 OCC-Cardinal standings: Dublin Jerome (27-1), Olentangy Berlin (22-6), Hilliard Bradley (20-8), Delaware (19-9), Hilliard Darby (11-17), Kilbourne (8-20), Thomas (4-24), Dublin Scioto (1-27)

*2019 postseason: 14th at sectional

GIRLS GOLF

*Coach: Rodney Hopkins, third season

*Top players: Devyn Miller, Anna Poklar and Claudia Scott

*Key losses: None

*2019 OCC-Cardinal standings: Jerome (26-0), Delaware (20-6), Darby (20-6), Bradley (14-12), Scioto (8-18), Kilbourne (5-21), Berlin (5-21), Thomas (0-14)

*2019 postseason: Did not

compete

GIRLS TENNIS

*Coach: Andy Sinclair, fifth season

*Top players: Francesca Decker, Kate Haydel-Brown, Yashna Rana, Judy Ray and Meggie Ray

*Key losses: Sydney Cooke, Riley Dodson and Winnie McKahan

*Last season: 2-13 overall

*2019 OCC-Cardinal standings: Jerome (7-0), Berlin (6-1), Scioto (5-2), Bradley (4-3), Delaware (3-4), Darby (2-5), Thomas (1-6), Kilbourne (0-7)