Watterson High School boys soccer coach Chad Smith originally was concerned his team didn't receive proper training during the offseason since he wasn't hired to take over the program until late June.

Watterson High School boys soccer coach Chad Smith originally was concerned his team didn't receive proper training during the offseason since he wasn't hired to take over the program until late June.

But after Smith met his players for the first time, those fears were quickly quelled.

"I was very curious and a bit worried, but these kids have a great work ethic and they were already having open-field sessions without me," said Smith, whose team finished 6-9-2 a year ago. "We have 13 seniors and their leadership has been amazing. They've helped us make a quick transition."

Junior Austin DeCocker (defense) and senior Brian Raderstorf (goalie) are serving as team captains. Seniors Trevin Pitroff (defense) and Max Rohda (midfield) are third-year starters.

Rounding out the lineup are seniors Brian Dunlay (defense), Shawn Eckert (defense), T.C. Frommeyer (defense), Tommy Glace (defense), Sean Lally (forward), Colin O'Grady (midfield), Michael Pomeory (midfield), Austen Smith (midfield), Ryan Storc (forward) and Joey Viola (midfield), juniors Derek Hesse (forward), Alex Kish (midfield) and Evan Thomas (defense), sophomores Andrew Huber (midfield), Bryan Luckscheiter (midfield), Jeremy Pratt (goalie) and Dominic Smith (midfield), and freshman Andrew McKelvey (forward).

Last year, Watterson finished 1-3-1 in the CCL for fifth, behind DeSales (5-0), Worthington Christian (4-1), St. Charles (2-2-1) and Hartley (1-2-2), and ahead of Ready (0-5).

The Eagles defeated Buckeye Valley 6-3 in their Division II district tournament opener and then Canal Winchester 1-0 in a semifinal before losing to Big Walnut 1-0 in the final.

"One of the first things the players mentioned was wanting to get back on top in the CCL," Smith said. "We're going to play an attacking style. I don't like sitting back, but defense is always going to be our first priority."

•The girls soccer team finished 15-3-1 last year after losing to Dublin Coffman 2-0 in a Division I district final. But only four letterwinners have returned - senior midfielder Mary Montalto, senior forward Rachael Callahan, junior midfielder Kathryn Sullivan and sophomore defender Andrea Regrut.

Rounding out the roster are seniors Abbey Camp (forward), Sarah Condon (forward/midfield) and Sarah Hetterscheidt (defense), juniors Shannon Caldwell (defense), Nicole Licata (defense) and Regina Smith (midfield), sophomores Allie Demboski (midfield), Annie Gavin (defense), Christina Hollern (forward), Brittany Maisano (defense), Anne Montalto (forward) and Polly Sellers (forward), and freshman Ellie Ganz (forward).

"We lost 10 seniors and the biggest difference this season is that we're a lot smaller physically and don't have the strength that we had last year," coach Alyxandra Portier said. "We're really young, but our seniors are great leaders and there's a lot of potential within our younger players."

Last year, the Eagles beat DeSales 2-1 to finish 5-0 in the CCL and win a league title outright for the first time since 2002.

DeSales finished second in the CCL at 4-1 and won the CCL title in 2007 and 2008, after splitting the league crown with Watterson the previous two seasons.

The second-seeded Eagles opened the district tournament with a 4-1 win over Worthington Kilbourne, before beating Dublin Jerome 2-1 in a semifinal and losing to Coffman.

"Our goals are to go undefeated in the CCL and win a district title, and I think we have a chance because our leadership and chemistry are really good," Portier said.


Schedules

BOYS SOCCER

Aug. 24 - at Bexley Aug. 28 - at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Sept. 4 - vs. Jonathan Alder *Sept. 9 - vs. Hartley Sept. 13 - at Worthington Christian *Sept. 14 - at Ready Sept. 15 - at Centennial *Sept. 21 - vs. St. Charles *Sept. 28 - vs. DeSales Oct. 2 - at Beavercreek Oct. 5 - at Whetstone Oct. 7 - vs. Watkins Memorial Oct. 12 - at Canal Winchester Oct. 14 - at Olentangy Liberty Oct. 19 - at Grove City

GIRLS SOCCER

Aug. 24 - at Pickerington North Aug. 26 - at Hilliard Bradley Sept. 4 - at Whitehouse Anthony Wayne *Sept. 9 - at Hartley Sept. 11 - vs. Olentangy Orange *Sept. 14 - vs. Ready Sept. 18 - at Olentangy Liberty Sept. 23 - at Westerville Central Sept. 25 - vs. Toledo St. Ursula *Sept. 28 - at Columbus School for Girls Sept. 30 - at Dublin Jerome Oct. 2 - at Westerville North *Oct. 5 - vs. DeSales Oct. 14 - at New Albany Oct. 16 - at Upper Arlington

*CCL game