Category Archives: Sports

This will be for all sports stories, including local, college, and professional.

Football punts away Golden’s first season

Dylan James • Staff Writer

A 10-0 season with an appearance in the state playoffs, and a state championship is what every team dreams off before the kickoff of their first game. That dream has not changed Hayes’ football team. It is still just a dream

The Pacers haven’t had the greatest season by any stretch of the imagination. They’ve pulled off wins at Buckeye Valley and Mount Vernon, but haven’t had much success since then.

“[This season] has been a struggle,” Head Coach Mike Golden said. “We are a brand new staff with new expectations and different ways of doing things.”

Things have changed this season. There is new lifting programs designed for the football players for seasons to come. The players have had to adjust to the new environment they belong to.

“I’m proud of the kids in the way they have worked hard to adjust,” Golden said. “There is a big change in workouts and what is expected from them. All in all, it is not what we wanted, but we’re on a journey. That journey is going toward long term success.”

A team’s record determines the success or failure of the season. The Pacers record is 3-6 (Pending result of game 10/31), which is well below the mark they wanted to be at.

“This season hasn’t been a success,” Golden said. “We did not win any league titles, and we did not qualify for the state playoffs. To me, that would be success.”

When a team loses leadership, it takes a toll on the players. Leadership is an underrated quality when it comes to athletics. Leaders of a team provide that extra experience and wisdom throughout the season to keep a team level headed and focused on the task at hand.

“[The Seniors] are good kids with good spirits,” Golden said. “They responded to change with open arms and an open mind. I will always appreciate that.”

When a team has an unsuccessful season, it’s easy to want to forget about it and move forward. Not everything is a complete waste. There lessons to learn, things to correct and skills to improve.

“We are going to have to do some things to correct the football situation here in Delaware,” Golden said. “It will definitely be corrected.”

The spirits of this year are in the dumps, but next year holds infinite possibilities. Golden and the rest of the coaching staff seems optimistic.

“The expectation is to significantly better next year record wise, and it will be better.” Golden said.

As it stands now, there is a change going on in the Hayes football program. The hype keeps building, and the sky’s the limit for seasons to come.
“Coach Coleman and I learned when we got here that the lifting program wasn’t where it should be in this league,” Golden said. We have been to the highest levels in this sport. You have to work hard in the off-season to achieve success during the season. We have a chance to do that this year.”


Club sports grow in popularity

Every hour of every day, playing competitive sports requires hard work and time commitment.

Several student athletes at Hayes play competitive travel sports.

Competitive sports teams are made up of players from all over the country. They travel and play only the best of the best competition.

“The teams who compete in club lacrosse are of a much higher caliber than school teams,” Junior Sean Gliebe said.

Playing year round doesn’t bother a competitive athlete.

“I play both competitive and high school soccer mainly because the seasons don’t interfere,” said Tessa Pijanowski, a senior girl’s soccer player. “Plus, it’s great being able to play the sport I love year round.”

The main differences that these players see is that they do much more traveling than the high school does. Tournaments can range from coast to coast.

“In competitive soccer, we travel all over Ohio and even to other states,” Pijanowski said.

It’s definitely agreeable that the club sports are great for getting to know all sorts of people.

“The best part of playing on a club team is getting to know guys at other schools,” Gliebe said.

Regardless of who they’re playing with, competitive athletes love just playing their sport. Some even have high hopes for the future. Whether it’s a college player, a coach or a professional player, competitive athletes have to work hard.

“I hope to play lacrosse in college on a scholarship,” Gliebe said.

Being a competitive athlete leads to some serious time management skills. “Sometimes it can be a struggle managing all of my time. I try to get as much work done as I can in school and before my practices and games,” Pijanowski said. “Unfortunately, sometimes I have to stay up late to complete all of the work.”

On and off the field, these athletes know they have to work hard to improve and to be champions in life.

Hoops have head start for this season

Madi Huck • Staff Writer

The basketball team is one hoop in front of the competition because they have already started with practices.

Both boy’s and girl’s basketball are getting prepared for the upcoming season.

“We start very early to help us get in shape,” Senior Captain Noble Moore said. “[And] to get to know each other, since we will be playing with each other everyday for the next five or so months.”

The boys are coached by Jordan Blackburn, who is in his sixth year as head coach. Coaching the girls as head coach for the second year is Peter Minardi.

“Other schools are practicing now, so our coach wants us to be able to compete,” said Junior girl’s basketball player, Kelsey Knodell.

This early start of open gym is not new, especially for basketball.  Working hard and playing together is the main idea for these open gyms.

“It definitely helps team bonding and helps us work on how we play together,” Knodell said.

During open gym, the players work on skills such as dribbling and shooting.

The coaches try to work with the team, but the Ohio High School rules makes it difficult for them to work with the whole team before the season starts. The coaches still manage to work with the team in smaller groups.

“On some days, you’re allowed to work with four kids, so on those days we’ll work on skills in a small group,” Blackburn said.

When all the players are together, the returning upperclassmen usually lead the  open gyms in drills, shooting, or games.

“Coach Blackburn opens up the gym for us at 5:45, but the seniors ultimately run them to gain respect from all the other players,” Moore said.

Like in any sport, the players have to work hard at their skills. The coaches see improvements from those coming.

“Our kids that really care are getting a lot better in skill stuff, like dribbling and shooting,” Blackburn said.

After miles of training, Cross Country crosses finish line

Madi Huck • Staff Writer

As the season comes to an end, it’s clear that the cross country team has competed hard.

“Throughout the season we took advantage of every opportunity we get to improve,” senior Sid Campbell said.

The team didn’t win many invitationals, but they got better, which will help pave the way for future runners.

“I saw a lot of improvement with the team in general, not only in placement, but mentally, physically,” senior Sammi Piroska said.

A lot of their success can be contributed to their hard work in the off season.

“The team worked harder than ever in my past four years,” Campbell said. “Success can be contributed to running since March, and definitely Coach Coleman’s summer lifting program.”

This hard work has pushed two runners to place at districts and move onto regionals, sophomores Alicia Rittenour and Justin Hernan. They raced at Pickerington North on October 25.

Another attribute to the team’s success is the dedication of the coaches.

“The coaches, Bibler and White, have been there since day one,” senior captain Alyssa Wheeler said. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”

According to Piroska, White has the motto “Don’t listen to yourself, but talk to yourself.” Don’t give in when your body wants to quit, but keep pushing yourself to be the best you can be.

Additionally, Bibler helps keep the runners in check, too.

“Bibler makes it a fun day at practice, not ‘oh crap’ we have 12 miles today,” Piroska said.

This team is not just a team, they are a family. It has made an impact on the runners.

“We’re all a family. It’s really cliche, but it’s what we are and I’m really going to miss that,” Wheeler said.

The seniors are already missing cross country, but they believe that they have left their mark behind, which they hope will lead to a future OCC title.

“[The seniors] have laid the foundation for the next OCC champs,” Piroska said.

Being on this team has allowed the players to let loose and just have fun.

“[Cross country] has taught me to be myself… being able to go to practice everyday and be quirky, but also serious. I get to be myself,” Piroska said.

Working hard and working together has made Hayes’ cross country team the team to beat.

“Hard work is fun because we work hard as a team, and we have fun as a team,” Piroska said

Swim team dives into new season

Madi Huck • Staff  Writer

It’s time to splash into action for the swim team.

As the winter sports season starts, the swim team is looking ahead to their upcoming season.

With practices starting on November 7 at Ohio Wesleyan, the team is expecting to do well. Several of the returning swimmers went to states last year.

“Our coach wants us to go to states again,” said Nina Sferrella, a junior swimmer. “But you do your best. That’s our goal.”

Practices are from 5-6:55 a.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday 7-10 a.m. for swimmers. Divers practice from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

These early morning workouts are great for swimmers since they don’t interfere with after school activities, but it has real life applications.

“Morning swims build character,” swim coach Bill Rietz said.

Additionally, swimming has other benefits for the student athlete.

“Swimmers have to be self motivated because when their head is in the water, it’s time to go to work,” Rietz said.

This is a skill that will be carried over throughout all of life.

According to Sferrella, the best part of being on the swim team is “the friendship that we build.”

It’s more than just being on a team and forming friendships.

For Rietz, the best part of the swim team is “the progress and success you get to observe both in and out of the water.”

The team also works hard in the off season. Since June 17, the swimming team has had open gyms, lifting twice a week with Coach Brian Coleman and participate in yoga with Laura Frisch once a week. These workouts are known as “dryland.”

“I’m sure [the dryland workouts] are going to help once we get into the water,” Sferrella said.

Swimming is different from other sports because it’s completely a co-ed sport; both the boys and girls practice together.

“They push each other to be the best,” Rietz said.

There are high hopes for this season with the returning seniors captains, Mason Nicol, Elyssa Steele, Bethany Ward and Sam Curtin, leading the team.

The swimming and diving team is going to continue to excel in and out of the water as they work to improve for this approaching season.

Team seeks improvement through season

Sammi Piroska • Managing Editor

Every team has their ups and downs when it comes to the growth and success of each individual person and the team as a whole. Members of the golf team experienced growth across the ongoing season, but also from last season to this season.

The varsity team has seen improvement even though it has not been as fast as it has been. Junior, Grant Godfrey, leads the varsity team as they head into the week of sectionals after a season of growth.

“We’ve done a lot better this year, slow improvement,” Godfrey said. “We are not up there with the top teams but we still practice hard.”

Along with Godfrey, senior Cole Haferman is also seeing much development in the team. “The season is going better,” Haferman said. “We are continuing to improve as the season goes on.”

With all the hard work the team has put so far, the boys have been able to make their mark this season with their team’s best combined score.

“We just hit our personal best,” Haferman said. “We hit 327 this past tournament, and we are looking to continue to improve.”

With the growth of the varsity team, the junior varsity team has experienced their own growth in their techniques. Sophomore and JV golf member, Sam Midura, has seen a change in the team and their atmosphere.

“I think JV has definitely improved,” Midura said. “When we first started, I thought everybody was just getting into golf and they just wanted to have fun, but throughout the year Coach Graham has definitely helped us.”

During the season, the team had lost some players, making it so the team needed to rebuild themselves. “We lost a lot of players from JV to varsity and some JV players just stopped playing,” Midura said. “I mean it was almost like we had to recover from that, but I think we did a good job.”

Head JV coach, Andy Graham, agrees with Midura about the growth of the team. “JV, I think the kids got better and better every week,” Graham said. “I mean we had a couple falter but overall they had fun.”

With the season coming to a close, the team will be losing seniors Cole Haferman, Lali Lakatos, and Dan VanBrimmer. These seniors are hopeful that some of the underclassmen and  JV members will be able to step up and fill their spots once they are gone.

“We’re looking towards David [Kelly], the current five man and Gabe [Phillips], the sixth man [who] will be key players in the upcoming future as well as Jared Piroska, who is number one on junior varsity,” Haferman said.

On Tuesday, September 30 the boys varsity team will be competing for the chance to advance out of sectionals and into the next level of competition. Along with Midura, Godfrey has confidence in his team and their abilities to move into the next level of competition.

“We have been working hard the last couple of weeks and have been focusing on clover valley and trying to focus on the shots we played there,” Godfrey said. “So I think we will make it out.”  

Girls’ coaches focus on hard work, development

Sarah Heber • Distribution Manager

Three girls teams, three new coaches, one common goal. Julieanne McClain took over as head coach for girls tennis. Girls golf, an entirely new sport at Hayes, welcomed Steve Lehman as head coach. Lastly, Mark Thomas took on the assistant coach position for girls volleyball. The common goal these new coaches hope to achieve this fall is simply growth and development.

After spending two years as the assistant tennis coach for Worthington Christian High School, McClain now takes on the head coach role here at Hayes. While at Worthington Christian she coached both boys and girls, but she is focusing on helping the girls team here at Hayes.

“I enjoying being able to watch a match going on, give a couple pointers, and then see the players really own that advice and change, especially when it makes the difference between a winning and losing,” McClain said.

The team graduated a fair amount of seniors last year but McClain still has high expectations for the returning players and new players as well.

“It’s a growing year. I know that is cliché but it really is a growing year in every sense,” she said. “So it’s going to be an exciting season. It’s probably not going to be exciting in terms of score but it’ll for sure be in terms of growth.”

Similar to the tennis team, the girls golf team is going to have a growing year. This is a new sport to Hayes and it has already caught students’ attention.

“We’ve always had a number of girls who wanted to play and we thought we had a full team last year but a couple of them weren’t able to play so we ended up one player short,” Lehman said.

To form a full team, only four golfers are required, however Lehman is pleased that the team stands strong with seven members this year.

“For competitive purposes and for other things like injuries it is nice to have more,” Lehman said.

With this being a new sport to Hayes, he is excited to spread the word about girls golf and simply  teach them about the beauty of the sport.

Lehman wants his athletes “to learn to enjoy the game and learn all that it has to offer,” he said. “[Golf] is something they can play till they’re 90 years old.”

The final change for girls sports this season is that Coach Thomas took on the role as assistant coach for the volleyball team. He now currently coaching three sports, teaching, and is also a husband and a father of two young boys. Although he has a full plate, he is still excited to help the volleyball program grow.

“I’d say my expectations for the season would be just to get better as a program, to get better as a team and as a group of girls,” Thomas said.

Thomas hopes to help set the foundation of tradition for years to come. After already doing so with the softball program, he is confident he can do the same with the volleyball team. Thomas enjoys being the assistant for the volleyball team, especially since he is head coach for softball.

“It’s pretty cool to get to take that step back, letting Lee run things and then I can just give tips every once and a while,” Thomas said. “I can laugh a little bit more with the girls instead of being as serious.”

With all these changes this fall, the level of anticipation for the future face of girls sports at Hayes is at an all time high. The new coaches are pushing their girls to raise the level of competition and are asking for more out of them than ever before. If everything goes according to plan, the girls sports programs will continue to grow stronger in the upcoming years.

BV v. Hayes: How the rivalry works

By: Dylan James

The Buckeye Valley defense swarms the Pacer ballcarrier at the August 29th game at Buckeye Valley High School. Hayes won handily 31-6
The Buckeye Valley defense swarms the Pacer ballcarrier at the August 29th game at Buckeye Valley High School. Hayes won handily 31-6.

It’s that time of the year again: football season. With football season comes the rivalries in it, and as usual the first game of the season for the Hayes Pacers is against Buckeye Valley. These schools, which are exactly 4 miles down the road from each other, aren’t exactly best friends.

Last years game wasn’t the prettiest to watch, 51-0 in favor of the Pacers. The last win for the Buckeye Valley team was in 2011 (Hayes won 35-22 in 2012), but the rivalry hasn’t lost its heat. It’s actually become Golden, as in new Hayes coach Mike Golden.

“I don’t have any personal history with BV,” Golden said. “But, I do understand the rivalry, and the intensity. I’ve been involved in some big rivalries, so I understand.”

Teams go into a season having high standards, and they do not like to lose. The situation is no different with this year’s Pacers squad.

“I have high expectations, I always do,” Golden said. “I think that if you play a sport, any sport, you do it because you want to be the best you can be.”

When it comes to rivalries, there’s always high energy and intense focus. In the locker room, everyone is silent and everyone is getting ready to go play. This Hayes team is in the right frame of mind.

“We need to make sure we know exactly what we’re doing,” Golden said. “We need to react to things they’re doing. We need to be successful, and play at a high level.”

Golden and the Pacers are going to be all business in the weeks leading to the game and the weeks after.

“We’ve all been there before,” Golden said. “We’ll act like we’ve been there before.”

From the sidelines and the stands, the game is completely different from what players experience on the field. On the field, the players are not just players. They’re a representation of the people, the rivalry, and the tradition that comes along with it.

“I feel the tradition of the Hayes-Buckeye Valley rivalry,” Senior Safety Cody Wooten said. “It’s great! And we plan to get a win again this year.”

Things are easy to say pregame and postgame, but when it comes to performing on the field on Fridays, under the lights, it’s a whole different story. It’s when the pressure to perform hits hard.

“Of course there’s pressure,” Wooten said. “No one plays to lose. You play to win.”

The feeling of the players is the same as the feeling of the coach, as far as expectations go. Everyone expects to perform well and at a high level of effort and intensity.

“Our expectations on the field is to give 100% effort on every play,” Wooten said. “We do what we’re told, and every person on the field is expected to do their job. We’re held responsible for every play on the field.”

There’s no rivalry in the history of sports rivalries in which the fans aren’t active participants that influence the game. Fans give that inspiration and energy when a player is in the moment.

“Having a loud, crazy student sections and fans definitely affects [the] play in positive ways,” Wooten said. “The environment of a Friday night game gets your adrenaline going.”

From the fans perspective, there’s definitely energy in the air. They know what the rivalry means; to them, to the school, and to the community. The incoming Freshmen this year at Hayes are going to experience it for the first time.

“The BV game gets it hype because we’re rivals,” Freshman Nick Patten said. “We’re so close to each other, and they’re ‘Hillbillies’ and we’re ‘from the city’.”

If you’re a true fan of a team, you cry when they lose and cheer when they win. Pacers fans are the exact same way.

“It’s important to win because it’s a win,” Patten said. “Any game goes on our record so a wins a win.”

The environment of a game and the personality of the fans are different when a game is home compared to away. The Pacer fans that are going to the away game are going to be noticeable.

“I’m gonna be going crazy,” Patten said. “I’m gonna be loud and proud.”

Just because it’s a rivalry doesn’t mean there is just hatefulness from everyone. There’s an unspoken respect for what the opposition can do.

“I think you should always respect your opponents,” Patten said. “They can beat us, and we can beat them too.”

When it comes to getting the win, it’s no doubt the team is confident it can win. This game is a must win.

“Heck yeah it’s a must win game,” Wooten said. “Every game is a must win. But Buckeye Valley is a ‘Should Win’. A loss to Buckeye Valley is embarrassing.”

Sure, the game is what counts on your record, but it’s what’s put in before the game thats important as well. A positive attitude and good effort in practice goes a long way to getting the win in games.

“I think that every game, every practice, even every day is a must win,” Golden said.

New trainers’ office causes confusion

Madi HuckStaff  Writer

With the new lunch lines, the athletic trainers had to do some relocating.

“I’m confused because I’m so used to it in the place where [the athletic trainer] was,” Cross Country runner Meg Vonada, said.

The first aid office, or the room for the athletic trainers, can now be found in the basement where the old softball office was. It’s the room next to 702, but there is no room number assigned to the room itself.

For those who are unsure of where that might be, it’s in the same hallway as bus alley. Go down the steps as if going to the bus, then turn left at the bottom of the stairs. After that, it’s the second door on the right, going under the archway.

 “As of right now, we are seeing a few less athletes because they don’t know where we are at,” said Maggy Krauza, an athletic trainer.

The trainers still have the tables to stretch out the athletes, as well as the ice machine to help any swollen ankles that might come about. For the most part, other than the location, the room is the same.

“[The] biggest difference is that this room is not on the same floor as the gymnasium,” Krauza said.

This means for the athletic trainers will have to work quicker and more efficiently to get the water to the athletes as well as be about to help any potential injuries.

Unfortunately, only football has locker rooms in the basement. All the other locker rooms, for both boys and girls sports, are located across from the pizza and sandwich lunch lines.

“It’s very biased. It’s horrible! And frankly it’s rude because it makes [the football team] seem more important than all the other sports,” Vonada said.

In her opinion, there should be easy access to the trainers for all sports teams.

“We should make sure every sport is treated equally and should be the same distance away from the trainers,” Vonada said.

The trainer’s office was moved in order to make an additional lunch line. This decision was made at the end of last school year.

The student athlete can still expect the very best from the trainers here at Hayes. There will be some confusion at first, but when the athletes need some help, they’ll be able to find their way.

“I think once everyone knows where we are, they’ll be able to find us,” Krauza said.

So for all the athletes out there, here’s the official notice: the trainers will be either in their new office or at all the sporting events, to keep Hayes safe and ready to play.

Flexing New Muscle

It’s time to shake out your muscles because there’s a new sheriff in town, or rather a new lifting coach. Brian Coleman is the new lifting coach here at Hayes. He is responsible for the training of all Hayes athletes

Training and conditioning play a crucial part in athletics. Outside of any sports, people don’t know what happens in the weight room. With a new training coach, there’s a lot more to know, especially about what he brings to the table.

“Coleman has a lot of energy,” Sophomore Wrestler Carter Davidson said. “He brings a lot of excitement to the weight room.”

Last year, coaches were the ones that organized training programs, if they did at all. This year, there is no need for coaches to worry about that. Coleman is the one that takes care of preparing training and lifting sessions.

“Last year the lifting seemed more personalized,” Davidson said. “This year it’s a little different, but we’re still making great gains.”

Training and lifting is a great way to boost performance for the season. A program that has a training system has a definite advantage over another that doesn’t. No team wants to do bad and lifting provides a way for programs to become more successful.

“The lifting helps our performance tremendously,” Davidson said. “It has and is making us stronger, faster, and more explosive.”

“ I definitely think it’s helping us,” Junior Volleyball player Claire Turner said. “We’re gaining strength and it’ll help us become an overall better team.”

There’s a different feel in the weight room than on the practice field or the court. There are no plays to practice or techniques to learn. There’s a sense of urgency to get better, faster, and stronger.

“The atmosphere with Coleman and the coaches is intense,” Davidson said. “We’re focused on improving and it really helps the lift.”

“[The atmosphere] is very intense,” Turner said. “We’re being pushed to do our best, and it’s a good feeling.”

Before Coleman, girls teams didn’t have a lifting schedule or a program. Now, all sports at Hayes are using the weight room. They all can keep in shape and become stronger, mentally and physically.

“Last year we didn’t lift at all,” Turner said. “Last year, lifting was for wrestling and football. The girls teams didn’t really lift. It’s a lot different and I feel like we’re all more in shape and ready for our season.”

Athletes are a rare breed of people that often seek to improve. With Coleman running the liftings, there’s definitely optimism for the future. Hayes’ athletics are turning over a new leaf when it comes to training and building strength.

“I like the new lifting system,” Davidson said. “Even though the old one seemed more personalized, our new lifting is going well.”

“I definitely prefer lifting over not lifting,” Turner said. “It’s a lot better this year.”