The Olentangy Liberty boys golf team settled for runner-up honors in the first of four league matches earlier this summer — Olentangy Orange earned the bragging rights that day — but has been unstoppable ever since.
Wednesday was no exception as the Patriots carded a combined 290 at Darby Creek, their lowest total in OCC play, en route to their fifth straight league championship at the fourth and final OCC-Buckeye match of the season.
Liberty coach Ryan Snivley said the consistency comes down to the players. Not just the players themselves, but also where they come from.
“I have to attribute it to the community,” Snivley said. “The nice thing is our kids live not far from three championship courses … and they grew up on them. My players have been playing together since they were nine years old. It’s nice to see them develop at a young age and work on their games through tournament experience and swing mechanics.
“The guys really get along well and they play every day.”
Jack Snyder led the way with a 71 while Ben Armbruster, Hunter Corbin and Grant Smeltzer finished with 73s for the Patriots, who finished with a 19-1 league record.
Orange, which got solid contributions from John Green (74) and Corbin Bentley (76), finished second with a 310. Luke Johnson (79) and Nathan Brown (81) also scored for the Pioneers, who were second in the final team standings with a 17-3 record.
Olentangy finished third in the final showdown of the season and fourth overall. Bennett Zeitner and Tyler Phillips shot 76s while Ben Wilch had an 84 and Taylor Lansdale carded an 86.
Westerville Central’s Josh Qian nabbed Player of the Year honors with a four-round total of 288. Smeltzer, Zeitner, Corbin and Bentley also earned first-team All-League honors.
Olentangy Berlin’s Bryce Reed used a solid showing in the fourth league match of the season to cement Player of the Year honors Wednesday afternoon at Denison.
Reed fired a 76. Coupled with the 65 he shot at Apple Valley and the 71s from Darby Creek and Turnberry, he finished with a 70.75 average — a mark nearly five strokes better than any other player in the Cardinal Division.
The Bears, who carded a 329 Wednesday, finished second overall with a 22-6 record. Dublin Jerome won the conference crown with a mark of 27-1.
Other Berlin scorers included Leila Raines (78), Ethan Hegg (87) and the duo of Layne Comyns and Tanner Shimp (88s).
Delaware Hayes, which finished fourth in the final league standings, closed things out with a solid 322 at Denison.
Colin Bibler led the Pacers with a 77 while Brady Gazarek (78), Luke Gazarek (81) and Mark Sulek and Ben Madden (86s) also scored.
The Golden Eagles finished off the league slate in style, winning the fourth and final OCC match of the season Wednesday at Apple Valley.
Big Walnut, which finished second overall behind New Albany, shot a combined 308 in the finale. Kyle Williams, the OCC-Capital Player of the Year, had a team-best 70 while Kolin McKee (76), Austen Bennett (80) and Reno Overbaugh (82) also scored.
Williams finished with a four-match average of 73.25.
Otterbein 2, Ohio Wesleyan 1
Heidelberg def. Ohio Wesleyan 25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 25-18
Ohio Northern 1, Ohio Wesleyan 0