October 2, 2003
Searching for the perfect shot
Tiger Woods may have inspired them, but it is that ever-elusive “perfect shot” that keeps YSHS seniors Rory Hotaling and Francis Gayek coming back to the tee to try again.
Even as they stood at the 18th hole after school on Monday, facing a cold fall wind to get in a few more hours of practice at Rocky Lakes Golf Course, they showed resolve to get better.
This year, they hope to be the first YSHS golfers to make it to state.
And after high school they dream of eventually playing professionally. Whoever doesn’t make it to the PGA tour, the joke between them goes, will serve as the other’s caddy.
“But there’s no way I’m not going to play golf professionally,” the shorter, vocal Hotaling said.
“Yeah, that’s true, Rory’s going pro,” the taller, more reserved Gayek said in acquiescence.
The first and second flight players on the YSHS golf team have been playing together all fall, and practically ever since they started the sport, around the time that Tiger began dominating the PGA tour.
Before then, Gayek said, he wouldn’t have dreamed of touching a golf club. And Hotaling was only using his for anger management — on vacation one summer he was told he couldn’t play a course where a tournament was being held. He was so mad that when he finally got to play he found he could really shoot. The ball went far, and better yet, it went straight down the fairway.
It was one of those perfect shots he has been playing for ever since.
Gayek understood that perfectly, and said he’d had a similar experience a few years later when he was first starting out at the driving range at Young’s Jersey Dairy. “There’s always that shot that’s perfect, and you want to come back and hit that again, feel that again,” he said.
Both boys did come back to practice regularly. Hotaling rode his bike with his clubs in tow to Rocky Lakes every day over the summers. When he heard that Gayek was playing, he coaxed his friend to join him.
They both had a clue about what it would take to play well. “It’s something Tiger said that will stay with me until I die: ‘Golf gives you what you put into it,’ ” Hotaling said. “The only way to get better is to put in the time out here.”
Both have spent many hours attending clinics and golf camps, and they now work at golf courses on the weekends. They say all they want to do is play golf. It is a factor that will preempt all other decisions they make as they finish out their high school careers.
Though Gayek doesn’t mind the cold, he said he knows he wants to leave Ohio because he can’t play golf year-round here. He hopes to go to a small college in Santa Barbara, Calif.
If he goes to college, Hotaling said, he will play for the golf team. If he doesn’t go to college, he will join the minor circuit for professional golfers and play all year. “Any way I do it, I’m going to be playing golf somehow,” he said.
Gayek said that Hotaling’s biggest strength is his ability to play consistently throughout a match. But Hotaling said he needs to work on coming back from a wayward shot or a hole that’s gone awry, something he said Gayek has down pat.
“When Francis is hitting well he constantly outdrives me and always out-irons me, but he also stays in the round even when he’s not playing well,” Hotaling said. “He’s what we like to call a grinder, but it’s his ability to focus on one shot at a time that makes him a good player.”
Assistant golf coach Gerry Simms agreed with their self analysis, saying that Hotaling plays carefully and stays out of trouble on his drives to put himself in position for the hole. Gayek, on the other hand, is fun to watch, Simms said, because he can hit a bad shot off the fairway and then make it back onto the green for a birdie.
“They both have a future in golf,” Simms said.
Even with opposite styles, the players shot identical scores in last Thursday’s Division III sectional tournament, and they head off to districts today (Thursday) to try their luck for state. They tee off at different holes this time, but they will think of each other as each heads off, in search of a shot even more perfect than his last. If it exists, they’ll both want to know how it feels.
Under clear skies, little wind and generally ideal conditions, the YSHS golf team placed 8th out of 20 teams in the Division III sectional tournament last Thursday.
Southeastern came out on top with a low score of 308, followed by Cincinnati Seven Hills with 316, then Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy with 317.
Though the Bulldogs finished with 357 and did not qualify for districts, the team’s top golfers, Rory Hotaling and Francis Gayek, had the two top scores from the non-advancing schools and will go on to compete individually at the district match today (Thursday) at Weatherwax Golf Course in Middletown.
Hotaling and Gayek had identical scores, each shooting 42 on the front nine and 37 on the back for a total of 79.
YSHS started on the back nine, where most of the players shot well. Hotaling sunk a long chip shot off the green for an eagle on the 18th hole, which boosted his confidence going into the turn. Things got rough after both Hotaling and Gayek triple bogeyed.
“If they play like they did last week, they both have a good chance of going on,” assistant coach Gerry Simms said.
David Warren, Dustin Rudegeair and Alex Melecki also eked out respectable scores on the initial back nine, but all fell into trouble on the front nine.
Six schools from the sectional advance to districts, and after the top five teams had finished last week, it came down to the last golfers from Yellow Springs, Miami Valley and Georgetown to decide which would be the sixth school to qualify. Georgetown’s golfer came through, sending Hotaling and Gayek alone to represent the Bulldogs.
Girls soccer ties 2
The YSHS girls soccer team tied two games last week, to give the Lady Bulldogs a 4–5–2 record.
YSHS played aggressively against Troy Christian last Tuesday in a 2–2 contest. Emily Foubert scored the first goal of the evening, beating the defense from the outside. The Lady ’Dogs then gave up 2 goals. On one of the goals, keeper Lila Jensen caught the ball over the goal line.
Behind 2–1 in the second half, Lady Bulldogs Kera Deerdorf, Jenn Smith and Paia Lapalombara played hard to get the ball forward, while Jensen had several big saves.
At a critical moment in the last 14 seconds of the game, Lydia Gerthoffer threw in a ball to Erin Silvert-Noftle, who took it to the middle and split the defenders to score the tying goal.
At home on a soggy field on Saturday, YSHS appeared to have control of the ball most of the time, taking shots just wide of Cincinnati Christian’s goal. But the rain and a skipping ball put everyone’s game off so that neither team could score.
and I are proud of the girls for digging out of a mid-season slump,”
assistant coach Sarah Wallis said on Monday.
Football wins 1st of year
The YSHS football team finally put together four solid quarters to win its first game of the year. Playing at Upper Scioto Valley, the Bulldogs defeated the 0–5 Rams, 19–18 last Friday.
The Bulldogs are now 1–5
Upper Scioto Valley got on top in the first quarter on a three-yard run, but the Rams missed the extra point.
The Bulldogs quickly followed when Jordan Skinner scored on a 17-yard pass from quarterback Jake Fulton. Aaron Zagory gave YSHS the lead when he kicked the extra point, making the score 7–6.
The Rams scored again in the second quarter, but failed to convert a two-point try.
The ’Dogs countered when Fulton connected with Anthony Brandon on a 32-yard touchdown pass. The Bulldogs, however, missed the extra point.
YSHS increased its lead before the half when Zagory kicked a 21-yard field goal, which put the Bulldogs up 16–12.
After a lightning storm caused a long delay, Zagory increased the Bulldogs’ lead to 19–12 on a 20-yard field goal in the third quarter.
The Rams pulled to within 1 on a 10-yard touchdown run in the fourth. The Rams gambled and went for 2, but Brandon stopped the Rams’ quarterback from scoring.
The Rams had one more chance to score with about four minutes left in the game, but the Bulldogs responded with a strong defensive stand. One holding penalty and a quarterback sack by Aaron Cobb later and the Rams were faced with 3rd and 41. On fourth down, the Rams tried a long throw, which the Bulldogs knocked down, giving YSHS possession with about 1:30 to go. The Bulldogs were able to run out the clock for their first win in two years.
Fulton was 7 for 14 passing for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Skinner caught four passes for 91 yards and a touchdown.
Brandon played well on both sides of the ball. On defense, Cody Johnson had eight tackles and a sack, Jansen Adkins had 13 tackles and a fumble recovery. Miguel Visbal had nine tackles, Cobb had five tackles and a sack and Jamie Stallworth had eight tackles.
Boys soccer loses 1st game
After soundly defeating rival Miami Valley last week, the YSHS boys soccer team lost its first game of the year when a wayward ball found its way across the goal line, giving Greenon a 1–0 win over the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs’ record is now 11–1 overall and 2–0 in the Metro Buckeye Conference.
Playing at Greenon last Saturday night, YSHS, ranked first in the Dayton area in Division III, was able to move the ball well throughout the game and had multiple chances to score. But the Bulldogs could not topple a determined Greenon defense.
Ten minutes into the second half Greenon had a throw in deep in the YSHS defensive end. As Greenon worked the ball forward, the ball eventually got loose near the goal, and a Greenon player kicked it in for the only score of the night.
Two nights earlier, things ended more favorably for the Bulldogs, when YSHS hosted Metro Buckeye rival Miami Valley, ranked third in the area.
The Bulldogs took an early lead when Nic Huneck sent a lob-pass to Duncan Silvert-Noftle, who scored from the left wing off the far goal post. Five minutes later Silvert-Noftle scored again on a header after receiving a long throw-in from Michael Hosket.
Noah Woodburn made it 3–0 when he scored off a pass from Silvert-Noftle, who dribbled into the Miami Valley box, faked a shot and slipped a pass to a wide-open Woodburn.
Nine minutes before the half, Scott Keyes added to the lead when he scored on a 25-yard shot that went right through the keeper’s hands. Hosket collected the assist.
Miami Valley got on the board early in the second half, but Yellow Springs retained their control with a pair of goals from Cody Johnson, both nicely assisted by Anthony Brandon. Silvert-Noftle closed out the scoring, assisted by Hosket.
Netters go 1–2
The YSHS girls volleyball team won one and lost two last week, with decisive outcomes for all three games that took the Lady Bulldogs to a respectable 9–6 season record.
Last Wednesday, Lady Bulldogs couldn’t pull out from under Cedarville’s dominating 15–4, 15–7 win.
But the team turned around the next day and met with Jefferson for a different fate, a 15–4, 15–3 win.
But come Monday, YSHS had again lost its wind, and allowed Xenia Christian to bask in a 15–12, 15–9 win.
Harriers place 9th
YSHS harrier David Warren led the Bulldog boys cross country team to a ninth-place finish at the Buck Creek Invitational last Saturday.
With Carey Dixon setting the pace and David Warren and Samuel Borchers weaving in and out of each other’s shadows, the three boys finished together. Each started out with about a 5:20 first mile and averaged 5:40 for the next two miles. Warren sprinted past Dixon at the final stretch to finish 12th in 17:54. Dixon crossed the line next in 17:56, and Borchers followed 2 seconds behind to finish 14th.
Meanwhile, Matthew Marretta placed 121st in 22:37. Though Zach Reichert started out with a fast 8:06 first mile, he twisted his ankle on a downhill turn that set him back significantly. Soldiering through it, he conquered both pain and the 3.1-mile course to finish 146th in 28:07.
For the girls team, Tina Peters placed 14th in 22:13. Hillary Livingston placed 92nd, and Rebecca Guest came in 118th in her first 5K race of the year.
Grade school girls basketball clinics
Girls basketball clinics will be held on Saturdays, Oct. 4 and Oct. 25, 2–4 p.m., at the Bryan Community Center gym.
The clinics are for girls in fourth, fifth and sixth grades, and will consist of instruction, drills and scrimmage.
Girls with experience and girls who are just learning the game are encouraged to attend. It is also an opportunity to learn more about playing in the Kenton Trace Conference, for fifth- and sixth-grade girls, which runs from mid-November through February. For more information, call Rich Miller at 767-2049.