As a student at Columbus Academy, junior Hart Wise had hoped the school would form a boys lacrosse program.

As a student at Columbus Academy, junior Hart Wise had hoped the school would form a boys lacrosse program.

Wise has played the sport for several years and was a member of the Columbus City Schools club team the past two seasons - before Academy fulfilled his dream.

"It's been a big topic the past couple of years," he said. "Once I heard we were getting a high school team, it was a dream come true. I wanted this for so long. Being a part of the first game, the first practice, the first win, it's been amazing."

The first-year Vikings are competing in Division II. They are 2-1 heading into their game Thursday, April 19, at Wellington.

The program began last season at the middle school level and added a high school team this year.

A key organizer behind the effort to bring boys lacrosse to Academy was Mark Barren, the Vikings' football coach who died last June after suffering a heart attack while exercising. Barren coached the middle school lacrosse team last year.

J.B. Jones, who coached the Columbus City Schools team last season and helped form that program two years ago, had planned to join the Academy staff this year to assist Barren. Following Barren's death, athletics director Dominic Facciolla named Jones the coach.

"Mark was pivotal in getting us off the ground," Facciolla said. "The plan was Mark would have been the head coach. Once that happened, we put it out there and J.B. was a good catch because he did coach some of our kids in club. His experience is good, the kids loved him who played for him and it's working out to be the same on the school team. He's doing a good job and kids are enjoying it. There's some learning pains, but they're actually quite successful."

Jones is being assisted by Tom Welsh.

Academy defeated Jones' former team, Columbus City Schools, 9-3 on March 30 in its opener.

Wise, an attacker, had three goals and four assists in a 14-2 win over Clinton County on April 14. For the season, he has 11 goals and four assists.

The team's seniors are midfielders Ben Bechtel and Isaac Mallory.

Freshman midfielder Carter Kistler is second on the team in scoring with six goals and two assists.

Sophomore Tyler Kohman, in his first season playing the sport, is the goalkeeper. He had 10 saves against Clinton County.

Other attackers are sophomores Griffin Schnitzer and Grayson Wise and freshmen Max Bechtel, Nick Dubey, Blake Martin and Drake Williams.

Hart and Grayson Wise are brothers, as are Ben and Max Bechtel.

Other midfielders are sophomores Michael Gurwin, Darius Kharazi, Tyler Krumlauf and Conner Nelson and freshmen Taylor Smallridge and Sam Wittmann.

Other defenders are sophomores Cameron Byers and Jesse Linkhorn and freshmen Mario Bosca, Reed Clark, Josh Collins, Daniel Jones and Chris Laskovski.

Linkhorn was lost for the season after injuring his spleen during a 14-5 loss to Delaware on April 9.

Despite having so many underclassmen and first-year players, Jones said he was happy with the Vikings' progress.

"We have seven kids who have never played before, so the progress that we've made has been leaps and bounds," he said. "It's amazing the hard work they're putting in because they really do want to succeed."