Central Ohio High School Sports Awards: Finalists announced for Super 6 boys water polo

From staff reports
ThisWeek
Central Ohio High School Sports Awards

Half of ThisWeek’s Super 6 boys water polo honorees finished the season by helping their team capture the state championship.

All the honorees are finalists to be named Captain – our boys water polo Athlete of the Year. That honor will be announced during the Central Ohio High School Sports Awards online show at 8 p.m. June 30.

Finalists should register at sportsawards.usatoday.com/centralohio. Bios for previous honorees are available by clicking on the H.S. Sports Awards link at ThisWeekSPORTS.com.

Below is the Super 12 for boys water polo: 

Will Elsrod

Will Elsrod, St. Charles

Elsrod scored seven goals in the biggest game of the season – a 20-8 victory over host Cincinnati Princeton as the Cardinals won their third consecutive state championship.

The senior earned first-team all-state honors, leading St. Charles with 66 goals and 49 assists and had 47 steals.

“Will is a skill player and our go-to guy in the center, and he did a great job for us there all season,” first-year coach Andrew Hoffman said. “He’s a very skilled player with a lot of knowledge of the game. He understands defensive positioning, and he’s able to react accordingly.”

The Cardinals won the state title after finishing as runners-up in the South regional tournament, losing to Upper Arlington 16-13 in the final.

Elsrod plans to play on the club team at Indiana University.

Jackson Gooding

Jackson Gooding, Upper Arlington

This senior emerged as the Golden Bears’ primary goalie and finished with 136 saves on 198 shots (68.7 percent) as UA finished third in the state for the second time in three seasons.

Gooding also made eight steals and scored a goal as the Bears went 24-5-1, defeating Cincinnati St. Xavier 18-7 in the state third-place game after a 13-9 semifinal loss to Princeton.

Gooding, whose younger brother Grant had 34 goals and 33 assists, split time earlier this season with Garrett Widman as well as Keegan Jones and Justin Yao.

“(Gooding) developed really well. His outlet passes really improved all year,” coach J.J. Spangler said. “He was a great guy to have in goal. Not only do his teammates really like him, they know they can always trust him.”

Austin Grzybicki

Austin Grzybicki, St. Charles

Grzybicki was an integral part of a St. Charles team that went 18-4 and won its third consecutive state title.

The senior perimeter player earned first-team all-state honors. He scored a goal in the state championship game and finished the season with 51 goals, 26 assists and 53 steals.

“Austin became a good outside shooting presence for us,” Hoffman said. “He developed a lot for us this year, especially in his ability to score from the outside.

“Outside shooting is very important because it opens up the center of the pool. If defenders have to guard the perimeter then it opens up shots for the center.”

Grzybicki plans to play on the club team at Ohio State.

Donnie Richardson

Donnie Richardson, St. Charles

Richardson scored two of his three goals in the first quarter of the state final to help St. Charles roll past Princeton 20-8 for its third championship in a row.

The senior right wing earned first-team all-state honors, totaling 48 goals, 49 assists and a team-high 63 steals.

“Donnie was the guy we looked to in terms of controlling the pace of the game,” Hoffman said. “He was the centerpiece of our offense. We worked the ball down the pool to Donnie, and our offensive production flowed though him.

“He was a vocal leader for us on varsity, but he also worked with the younger players to help develop them.”

Richardson plans to play on the Ohio State club team.

Grant Simeone

Grant Simeone, Thomas Worthington

Simeone was one of Thomas’ best all-around contributors this season on both offense and defense and provided a strong presence at center. 

The senior had 38 goals, 17 assists and 29 steals for the Cardinals. He also drew 23 ejections and made third-team all-state. 

Simeone has committed to play at Gannon in Erie, Pennsylvania.

“Grant was our captain because he is a powerful center player, has a rocket arm and handles the ball under pressure,” coach Rich Yurich said. “He plays tough, physical defense and draws double teams when playing offense.” 

Avery Voss

Avery Voss, Upper Arlington

A senior and Stanford swimming recruit, Voss had 47 goals and 21 assists to earn state Player of the Year honors and lead the Bears to a 24-5-1 season and third-place finish at state.

Voss, who scored five goals against St. Xavier in the third-place game, also led UA’s boys swimming team to its second consecutive runner-up finish in the Division I state meet.

Voss was one of three Bears to score at least 40 goals, ahead of Patrick Ray (43) and Jimmy Colombo (41).

“He was a great leader and someone we always knew we could depend on,” Spangler said of Voss, who also was named to the Super 12 boys swimming and diving team. “We wanted to have a balanced team scoring-wise to the point where other teams knew they couldn’t come in, shut down a single guy and beat us.”

sports@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSports