Will Thieman believes he is ready for his latest challenge.

Will Thieman believes he is ready for his latest challenge.

A 2009 Upper Arlington High School graduate who reached the Division I state tournament as a doubles player in 2008, Thieman went on to play for Ohio Wesleyan University and currently teaches tennis at The Racquet Club of Columbus.

This spring, he's also trying his hand as a high school boys varsity coach for the first time with Watterson.

The Eagles opened with a 5-0 win over Ready on April 5.

"I'm really excited," Thieman said.

"Watterson is a really good program, so I'm excited to guide it. We have most of our players back. Our goal is to win our conference this year, and if we work hard, we can do it. I think everybody on this team really enjoys competing."

Last season, Watterson finished 8-7 overall and placed second in the CCL at 3-1 behind St. Charles (4-0).

Back from last year and filling out the top three spots respectively at singles are senior Ryan Mar, junior Tommy Scherer and senior Samwise Parkinson. Juniors Todd Harklerode and Josh Weithman are at first doubles, with senior Thomas Abrams and freshman Chris Finissi at second doubles.

Seniors Ron Fox and Peter Hackett are other key players.

Last year in the Division II sectional at Columbus School for Girls, Scherer and Parkinson lost in the second round in doubles and Mar lost in the second round in singles.

Losing in the first round in singles were Abrams and junior Joe Huetel, who is expected to miss the season with an injury. The doubles team of Harklerode and Weithman also lost in the first round at sectional.

Thieman believes he learned much about how to teach the game to prep athletes during his time as a player.

While at UA, he helped the Golden Bears reach at least a state semifinal of the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament in each of his four seasons.

"High school tennis is about becoming really mentally tough together," Thieman said. "You want to teach them that an opponent should have to go through a brick wall to beat you."

Boys lacrosse team expects big season

An 8-3 win over perennial Division I power Worthington Kilbourne in its March 22 opener provided an early shot of confidence to the boys lacrosse team.

The Eagles are planning to be one of top Division II teams in not just the area but the state this season.

"(It's) always our goal to play one game at a time and not put a ceiling on our goal to win every game and a state championship," fifth-year coach Tom Foley said.

Watterson, which went 10-6 and reached a Division II regional semifinal last season, was 3-1 before playing Pickerington Central on April 13. The Eagles also beat Cincinnati Mariemont 11-8 on April 2 and Hilliard Darby 11-3 on April 6 but lost to DeSales 7-5 on April 9.

Leading the way is senior Nick Melaragno, a close defender who is in his fourth season as a starter and has committed to play for Mount St. Mary's University.

Melaragno was named first-team all-region last season along with juniors John Blevins (long-stick midfielder) and A.J. Rigsby (attacker) and sophomore Dominic Elmo (goalkeeper).

Rigsby was the team's leading scorer last season, according to Foley.

Junior Adam Kasun has returned at faceoff midfielder after making honorable mention all-region last year.

Other returnees are juniors Sam Alves (midfielder), Nick Geisler (defender), Drew McQuade (attacker) and Riley Taylor (midfielder) and sophomore Cam Headlee (midfielder).

Also looking to contribute are seniors Sam Belch (attacker), Colin Farrell (defender) and Jake Winters (midfielder), juniors Will Brown (midfielder), Nick Infante (midfielder/attacker), Griffin Matteson (midfielder), Hayden Paul (defender), George Sauter (attacker), Ethan Wehrly (midfielder) and Brian Zapior (midfielder), sophomore Frank Jobko (defender) and freshmen Barrett Bauer (defender) and Zach Kasun (midfielder).

Volleyball team plans to rebound

After going 19-8 and being the Division II state runner-up in 2014, the boys volleyball team battled inexperience last season and finished 3-17 overall.

The Eagles were 1-7 before playing Whetstone on April 12, but they're expecting more victories than a year ago.

"We have kind of a different drive this year," said third-year coach Anthony Randolph, whose team defeated Worthington Kilbourne 22-25, 25-16, 25-19 on April 8. "Last year, our drive was to get better, which we did by the end of the year. Our focus last year was to improve our skills. This year, our focus is to win. Everyone says there's a big jump from your junior year to your senior year. We're three weeks into the season and we're already better than last year."

Watterson has seven returnees to back up Randolph's assessment of his team.

Senior right-side hitter Dylan Egle was first-team all-East Region and second-team all-CCL last season, and senior outside hitter Anthony Valentino was second-team all-region and first-team all-league.

The other returnees are seniors Trey Baird (libero), David Carpenter (defensive specialist), Brandon Heath (middle hitter), Max Hetterscheidt (outside hitter) and Luke Picolo (setter).

Rounding out the team are seniors Max Chizek (outside hitter), Dirk Dooley (right-side hitter) and Patrick Frecker (middle hitter) and freshmen Rob Agan (middle hitter), Jake Page (defensive specialist) and Zach Pardi (defensive specialist).

Egle and Heath are 6-foot-5 and Agan is 6-4.

"Two years ago, we were state runners-up but we pretty much graduated our whole senior class," Randolph said. "We have six of our seven starters back from last year, which is huge."

Schedules

BOYS LACROSSE

March 22 -- at Worthington Kilbourne

April 2 -- at Cincinnati Mariemont

April 6 -- vs. Hilliard Darby

April 9 -- vs. Toledo St. Francis

April 13 -- at Pickerington Central

April 16 -- at Dublin Scioto

April 18 -- at Olentangy Orange

April 20 -- at Bexley

April 23 -- at Cincinnati Summit Country Day

April 25 -- at Delaware

April 30 -- at Pickerington North

May 2 -- vs. Granville

May 4 -- at DeSales

May 6 -- vs. Cincinnati Wyoming

May 10 -- at Columbus Academy

May 13 -- vs. St. Charles

BOYS TENNIS

*April 5 -- vs. Ready

April 6 -- at Hilliard Davidson

April 9 -- Hilliard Davidson Doubles Classic

April 11 -- at Olentangy Liberty

April 13 -- at Upper Arlington

April 15 -- vs. Grandview

April 18 -- at Hilliard Bradley

*April 19 -- at DeSales

April 21 -- vs. Wellington

April 25 -- vs. Shekinah Christian

*April 26 -- vs. St. Charles

April 28 -- at Westerville Central

*May 2 -- at Hartley

May 3 -- at Olentangy Orange

May 5 -- vs. Bexley

May 6 -- at Thomas Worthington

May 9 -- at Pickerington Central

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

March 30 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley

April 1 -- at Clayton Northmont with Kettering Alter

April 6 -- at Olentangy

April 8 -- vs. Mount Vernon and Worthington Kilbourne

April 9 -- at Dublin Jerome with Gahanna

April 12 -- vs. Whetstone

*April 14 -- vs. St. Charles

April 16 -- vs. Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit and Cincinnati St. Xavier

*April 19 -- at DeSales

April 21 -- vs. North Union

April 23 -- vs. Pickerington North

*April 26 -- vs. DeSales

April 28 -- at Dublin Scioto

*May 4 -- at St. Charles

May 6 -- vs. Pickerington Central

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Watterson baseball, girls lacrosse, softball and track & field teams:

BASEBALL

*April 15 -- Home vs. St. Charles

April 16 -- At Jonathan Alder

April 19 -- At Marysville

*April 20 -- At Ready

GIRLS LACROSSE

*April 14 -- Home vs. Granville

April 16 -- Leetsdale (Pa.) Quaker Valley and Mentor Lake Catholic in Hannigan-Galipault Tournament at Thomas Worthington

*April 20 -- At Columbus Academy

SOFTBALL

April 14 -- At Teays Valley

April 16 -- Home vs. North Union and Dublin Jerome

*April 18 -- Home vs. DeSales

April 19 -- Home vs. Groveport

TRACK & FIELD

April 14 -- At Big Walnut

*League contest