Patriots move into 1st-place tie with Pioneers


By Ben Stroup - bstroup@aimmediamidwest.com



The Olentangy Liberty boys golf team has been a force for quite some time now.

Need proof? Look no further than the Patriots’ collection of league crowns and the Division I state runner-up trophy they earned just two years ago.

The point is, Liberty’s always good … and Monday’s second OCC match of the season at Apple Valley was no exception. The Patriots fired a combined 298 to top Olentangy Orange’s 305 and move into a first-place tie with the Pioneers.

Westerville Central was third with a 312, Olentangy closed fourth with a combined 329 and Westerville North and Westerville South smoothed out the scoring summary with respective team totals of 378 and 394.

Jack O’Donnell led Liberty with a one-under-par 71, earning medalist honors in the process. Grant Smeltzer (75), Andrew Blosser (76) and Hunter Corbin (76) were also solid. Even the Patriots’ fifth man, Ben Armbruster, carded a 77 to finish with a nice round.

Depth, as it usually does for Liberty, made the difference.

“We are loaded with depth and the inter-squad competition is keeping everyone motivated,” Patriot coach Ryan Snivley said. “We’ve had a lot of consistency as well (298 season average). Fortunately, when one person is a little off, the other four players pick up the team.”

Orange, which won the first league match last week at Turnberry, was led by Corbin Bentley’s 74 Monday at Apple Valley. Jon Green backed Bentley with a 76 while Nathan Brown had a 77 and Luke Johnson and Mitch Purdue fired 78s.

Olentangy, meanwhile, got a stellar showing from Bennett Zeitner (73). The Braves’ other scorers included Ben Wilch (81), Tyler Phillips (87) and Braeden Gulley (88).

OCC-Cardinal

Bryce Reed continued his hot start to the season, firing a team-best 71 to lead Olentangy Berlin to a third-place finish at the second league match of the season Monday at Turnberry.

The Bears finished with a combined 306. Dublin Jerome won for the second straight week with a 297 while Hilliard Bradley finished second with a 300.

Other Berlin scorers included Ethan Hegg (77), Leila Raines (79) and Brady Casto (79).

Delaware Hayes was also in action, finishing fourth with a 316. Luke and Brady Gazarek led the Pacers with 77s while Mark Sulek and Ben Madden rounded out the team’s cumulative scorecard with respective rounds of 79 and 83.

OCC-Capital

Big Walnut shot a combined 319 to finish second behind New Albany at Monday’s second OCC match of the fall at Darby Creek.

Kyle Williams led the Golden Eagles with a 71. Other scorers included Kolin McKee (81), Kenny Schneider (82) and Austen Bennett (85).

GIRLS GOLF

Kirsten Fridley, Emily Longworth and Mackenzie Furches all shot in the 40s to lead Buckeye Valley to a 198-240 win over visiting Bishop Ready Monday at Oakhaven.

Fridley and Longworth finished with 48s while Furches had a 49. Becca Herriott was the Barons’ fourth and final scorer, finishing with a 53.

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By Ben Stroup

bstroup@aimmediamidwest.com