Big Walnut High School girls lacrosse coach Steve Palmer doesn't want his players dwelling on the team's losing streak.
The Golden Eagles, who are in their fifth season, entered their OCC-Central Division game against Pickerington North on April 19 having lost 25 consecutive games and riding a 27-game winless streak. They were 0-6 overall and 0-3 in the league before facing the Panthers.
Big Walnut's last win came against Pickerington Central, 10-9 on May 2, 2011. It tied Delaware Hayes at 8 two games later and lost its final three games of the 2011 season to finish 3-9-1.
Last season, the Golden Eagles finished 0-16 overall and 0-7 in the OCC-Central to place eighth, behind Pickerington North (7-0), Pickerington Central (5-2), Westerville South (5-2), Gahanna (4-3), Westerville Central (3-4), Delaware (2-5) and Westerville North (2-5).
Big Walnut concluded last season with a 20-6 loss to Sylvania in the first round of the Club Division North/Central Region tournament.
"We don't put a lot of emphasis on (the losing streak)," said Palmer, who is in his third season leading the program. "It's on our minds, but it's not our focal point. We're going to keep moving along. We try to get better in practice and games. (A win) will come."
Big Walnut opened March 22 with a 12-4 loss to Westerville South in an OCC-Central game. Its other league losses came against Westerville North (8-6 on April 4) and Westerville Central (16-3 on April 9).
The Golden Eagles lost to Delaware 10-8 on April 1 in a non-league game. The teams will meet in a league contest April 29 at Delaware.
Big Walnut lost to Granville 13-3 on April 11 and lost to Columbus School for Girls' junior varsity team April 6. Its home game against Chillicothe was postponed because of bad weather.
The Golden Eagles returned 10 players in senior Grace Coffman (defender), juniors Cynthia Grether (attacker), Jordyn McGurer (attacker) and Janey Serna (attacker) and sophomores Lexie Adams (midfielder), Alex Aughenbaugh (defender), Kelsey Bowling (midfielder), Morgan Clark (attacker), Rachel O'Morrow (midfielder) and Krista Schmidt (defender).
Coffman and Grether, who had a team-high 12 goals through six games and led the team with 25 regular-season goals last season, are team captains.
Also on the team are senior Andrea Lowe, juniors Marisa Allen and Maria Swartz, sophomore Jess Winbigler and freshmen Cori Kibler, Madelyn Wecker and Cassidy Willison.
Wecker has taken over at goalkeeper and was averaging 12.5 saves through six games. She replaced 2012 graduate Nici Bregel, who was a four-year starter.
"More girls than ever have come back for their second, third or fourth seasons," Palmer said. "Our skill level is higher than it has been, but we're still a young team with only two seniors."
Track teams sweep Golden Eagle Relays
The track and field teams swept the meet championships in the 36th annual Red Edwards Golden Eagle Relays on April 13.
The boys team won the title for the first time in three years and the fourth time in the past six years, scoring 91 points to finish ahead of runner-up Olentangy (86.5) and third-place Westerville Central (71) as 14 teams scored.
The boys team placed in 12 of the 14 events, with Drake Arrowsmith, Adrian Thomas and Brant Weiss combining to win the discus relay (317 feet, 10 inches) and Cameron Ahmed, A.J. Barber, Bobby Bogantz and Logan Perry combining to win the 6400-meter relay (19 minutes, 38 seconds).
The girls team, which placed in 13 of 14 events, scored 92 points to edge runner-up Westerville Central (81) and win the meet for the fifth consecutive season. Olentangy (56) placed third as 14 teams scored.
The Golden Eagles finished first in three events, with Avery Kerns, Anna Mackey and Olivia Small winning the high jump (14-6) and long jump (meet- and program-record 48-0) and Sara Althauser, Jamie Annis, Sami Rammelsberg and Amber Shaheen winning the shuttle hurdle relay (1:09.08).
Scott steps down as girls basketball coach
Bob Scott recently stepped down as girls basketball coach, citing the desire to spend more time with his family as the reason.
More specifically, he wanted to be able to watch his granddaughter play middle school basketball.
"Last year, I missed over half of her games," Scott said. "If I continue to coach, I would continue to miss her play.
"Also, she goes to Olentangy (Local) Schools and, if she kept playing in high school, I'd have to eventually coach against her. I didn't want to do that."
In 13 seasons with the Golden Eagles, Scott compiled a 166-124 record. His record over the final nine seasons was 141-64 after going 25-60 in his first four. The team reached at least a Division II district semifinal in his final eight seasons.
"He inherited a program that was struggling, but he turned it into a solid Division II contender year in and year out," athletics director Steve Glesenkamp said.
Scott's best season was 2008-09, when the Golden Eagles finished 19-5 and reached a regional semifinal before losing to Millersburg West Holmes 46-40. They won their second district title that season, defeating New Albany 46-44 in overtime in a district final.
The program's other district title came in 1990-91. Under Scott, Big Walnut was district runner-up in 2005-06 and 2007-08.
The Golden Eagles never won an OCC-Capital title under Scott, but they were league runners-up five times, with the most recent second-place finish occurring in the 2009-10 season.
This past season, Big Walnut finished 14-10 overall, losing to top-seeded Eastmoor Academy 48-44 in a district semifinal. The Golden Eagles went 6-8 in the OCC-Capital to place fifth, behind Olentangy Orange (14-0), Olentangy (12-2), New Albany (10-4) and Delaware (7-7) and ahead of Mount Vernon (4-10), Watkins Memorial (3-11) and Franklin Heights (0-14).
"From where they started day one to the end of the season, the teams always improved," Glesenkamp said. "That was a credit to (Scott) and his coaching staff."
Glesenkamp said the search for Scott's successor is under way.
"I've coached a great bunch of kids," Scott said. "Working with them, they were all really good kids."