Teamwork helped the St. Charles Preparatory School lacrosse team reach the second round of the Division I Central Region tournament.
Seeded fifth in the region, the Cardinals defeated fourth-seeded Pickerington Central 11-10 in the first round May 25 before losing to second-seeded Worthington Kilbourne 7-3 on May 29 to finish 10-9.
"We really learned what it means to be a team," coach Mark Berndt said. "We transitioned from being the sum of our parts at the beginning of the year to something more than that at the end of the year.
"Our players really learned to trust each other, from top to bottom of our roster. Our individual play improved throughout the year at all positions, but our success in reaching the final 16 of the state playoffs was due to our improved teamwork."
Senior midfielders Stuart Hudelson (39 goals, 12 assists) and Marcus Ward (39 goals, 11 assists) and senior defender Nic Herfel were named second-team all-region. Junior midfielder Brian Doney (.630 face-off percentage) also made second-team all-region as a face-off specialist.
Other top scorers included senior midfielder David Shuster (15 goals, 22 assists), junior attacker Ryan Cleary (17 goals, 15 assists) and junior attacker John Browne (19 goals). Sophomore goalkeeper Nicolas Carducci had 156 saves and a .560 save percentage.
St. Charles loses nine seniors, including Herfel, Hudelson, Shuster, Ward and defender Phil Kebe.
"This senior class has been pivotal in continuing the growth of our program," Berndt said.
"We played a very difficult schedule this year -- our strength of schedule ranked in the top 15 in the state -- and these seniors ensured that we were up to the challenge every step of the way.
"It started with tremendous leadership in the offseason and it showed their collective character. Marcus Ward (U.S. Air Force Academy) and David Shuster (Rochester Institute of Technology in New York) are going to play college lacrosse, and Marcus and Phil Kebe will be joining the U.S. Air Force, so replacing that level of character will not be easy."
Expected to return are Browne, Carducci, Cleary, Doney, juniors Kevin Caldwell (defender), Mike Hamrock (midfielder), Jacob Maxwell (attacker), Henry McCann (midfielder), Ian McPhaden (defender) and Mitch Wade (midfielder), sophomores Nick Carter (attacker), Eddie Glace (midfielder), Aaron Kebe (attacker), Andy Moore (defender) and Zachary Parker (attacker) and freshman Ryan Williamson (midfielder/attacker).
Bryan finished season at state track meet
Emmit Bryan of the track and field team closed the season by finishing 13th in the 400 meters (50.68 seconds) in the Division I state meet held June 7 and 8 at Ohio State.
The sophomore was the Cardinals' only state qualifier and did not score at state. Lakewood St. Edward won the team title with 62 points as 62 teams scored.
Bryan ran a personal-best 49.51 to finish third in the 400 in the regional meet held May 29 and 31 at Pickerington North, as the top four finishers in each regional event advanced to state.
"(Reaching state as a sophomore) is perfect for Emmit," coach Al Hostetler said. "He's already gung-ho for next year and is getting ready for summer track."
St. Charles scored 12 points at regional to tie Hilliard Darby for 16th behind champion Pickerington North (99) as 39 teams scored.
Also competing at regional was senior Will Herriman in the 300 hurdles (sixth, 40.13), the 3,200 relay of senior Tom Krajnak, senior Connor Bowman, sophomore Nick Marino and Herriman (seventh, 8:10.94), senior Jonathan Radney in the 200 (11th, 23.15) and the 1,600 relay of Bryan, junior Elliot Narcross, junior Ben Carlisle and Herriman (11th, 3:29.81).
The Cardinals finished sixth (47) in the 16-team district 3 meet that concluded May 25 at Darby behind champion Granville (117) and won the CCL meet May 16 and 18 at Columbus School for Girls, scoring 175 points to finish ahead of 2012 league champion DeSales (81), Ready (79), Hartley (77) and Watterson (74).
The CCL championship was St. Charles' fourth in the last five years and eighth in the last 12 seasons.
The Cardinals lose 11 seniors, including Bowman, Herriman, Krajnak and Radney.
"Our seniors had a good year," Hostetler said. "We had a pretty good year overall, led by our distance runners at regional."
Among those expected back are Bryan, Carlisle, Marino, Narcross, juniors Najeem Babatunde, David Heil and Justin Law and sophomores Brendan Harty, Sean Prendergast and Joseph Shepardson.