The Canal Winchester Times

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Spring season worth savoring

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Nothing signifies the arrival of spring quite like the sound of a bat making contact with a baseball or the smell of fresh-cut grass.

For high school sports enthusiasts, spring provides a plethora of opportunities to get outside and watch athletes compete in a myriad of sports, ranging from baseball and softball to lacrosse and boys tennis to crew and track and field. There's even rugby.

Check out ThisWeekSPORTS.com for schedules to find a contest close to home.

Spend a Saturday afternoon at a track meet watching athletes compete in the pole vault, high jump and 100 meters, or go to a baseball or softball game to watch a batter blast a home run, a pitcher blow a fastball by a batter and an outfielder make a diving catch.

You can attend a lacrosse game and watch a player sling the ball into the net for a goal or the goalkeeper make a seemingly impossible save, or you can take in a tennis match and watch a player serve an ace, return a backhanded shot down the line for a winner or smash an overhead shot to close out a game, set or match.

You're bound to see some wild scrums if you take in a rugby match, and watching oars hit the water in unison during a regatta is a sight to behold.

A well-pitched softball game can be completed in about an hour. Last season, winning district titles were Grove City, Pickerington Central and Central Crossing in Division I, Licking Valley and DeSales in Division II, Bloom-Carroll and Fairbanks in Division III and Danville in Division IV.

In baseball, DeSales is the two-time defending Division II state champion. Also winning district titles a year ago were Grove City, Olentangy and Olentangy Orange in Division I, Jonathan Alder in Division II, Bloom-Carroll and Fredericktown in Division III and Newark Catholic in Division IV.

Will those softball and baseball teams have great seasons again this year? Only time will tell.

In girls track, Reynoldsburg has been dominating in recent years. Last spring, the Raiders won their fourth consecutive Division I state championship to go along with regional and district titles. Can that dominance continue?

If lacrosse is more your speed, you should check out the boys teams from DeSales, Delaware, Dublin Jerome and Upper Arlington. UA beat Jerome 7-6 in the Division I state final a year ago, and DeSales and Delaware won the Division II and club state championships.

In girls lacrosse last year, UA had to settle for being the Division I state runner-up for the fourth consecutive season and New Albany was the Division II state runner-up.

Central Ohio has had state champions in boys tennis in recent years, but last season the only area player to reach the second day of the state tournament in Division I or II was 2012 Bexley graduate Matt Wareti, who placed fourth in singles in Division II. It remains to be seen if any central Ohio players will win a state title this season.

And, if you gotta regatta, don't miss the Governor's Cup on April 27 at Griggs Reservoir.

There is plenty to see this spring. But remember, the season is short.

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