Brian Thomas made his mark in his return to the Hilliard Davidson High School boys lacrosse team.
The senior attacker, who broke his left ankle during offseason training, returned May 10 against Bradley and scored six goals in an 18-10 victory.
The win put Davidson in position to defend the Hilliard Cup with a victory Friday, May 17, against visiting Darby. The trophy goes to the team with the best record in games against its school district rivals, and the Wildcats swept Bradley and Darby last season.
"It was pretty devastating for this to happen just before my senior season," said Thomas, whose team was 7-9 overall after losing to Loveland 9-3 on May 11 and 1-4 in the OCC-Buckeye Division before playing Worthington Kilbourne on May 14. "I have been playing since the third grade and never imagined something like this would happen. It was a long eight weeks of therapy.
"I learned patience while standing on the sideline. I learned a lot about teamwork and moving the ball around. You look at the game a little differently when you're on the sidelines."
Senior attacker Nick Tholt, junior midfielder Mack Burton, junior midfielder Matt Dugan and junior attacker Luke Myers all scored twice against the Jaguars.
Senior midfielder Brian Kegelmeyer, senior attacker Sam Lieburn, junior attacker Drew Shaffer and junior midfielder Jason Weihl all had one goal and junior goalkeeper Seth McCall had 11 saves.
"We have had an up-and-down year and maybe this (win) can get something going," Davidson coach Kyle Olson said.
"Getting Brian back adds a lot to what we can do on the field. He's a finisher and always can find a way to put the ball in the net."
Senior attacker Nick Biller scored six times for the Jaguars and junior midfielder Chris Apollonio, junior attacker Connor McDunn and freshman attacker Robert Humphreys all scored once. Sophomore goalie Jake Angelo had 15 saves.
"We are a young team and only have four seniors. Sometimes we go up against teams that have more coaches than we have seniors," said Bradley coach Andy Buck, whose team was 3-12 overall after losing to Pickerington North 14-4 on May 13. "We have been playing a few freshmen trying to get them acclimated to varsity and that will only help us in the future."
The Jaguars are 1-4 in the OCC-Ohio and close the regular season Friday, May 17, with a league game at Gahanna.
The Division I North/Central Region tournament draw is Sunday, May 19, and the postseason begins May 23.
"It's the best feeling I've had in a couple months," Thomas said of returning.
"Let's hope we can keep this going for a while."
Darby boys to face Davidson
The Darby boys were 4-9 overall before playing Dublin Scioto on May 15. They close the regular season Friday, May 17, at Davidson.
The Panthers finished 1-5 in the OCC-Ohio after defeating Gahanna 7-6 on May 8.
Darby lost to Cincinnati Sycamore 13-7 on May 11. Sophomore midfielder Blake Skinner scored twice and sophomores Daniel Brashear (attacker), Andrew Deaner (midfielder), Evan Forsythe (midfielder), Ryan Rampi (attacker) and Max Weese (attacker) all had one goal. Sophomore goalie Jordan Coppess had 10 saves.
Bradley girls playing well
The Bradley girls had won 10 of 11 games and were 11-3 overall before playing Dublin Coffman on May 14 in the first round of the Division I South/Central Region tournament.
The winner advanced to play Thomas Worthington in the second round May 15.
That winner moves on to a regional semifinal at home Monday, May 20, against Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame or Springboro. The Jaguars have not played those teams this season.
The regional final is May 23.
On May 7, Bradley defeated Olentangy Orange 11-8 to finish 5-1 in the OCC-Ohio, one game behind champion Olentangy (6-0).
The Jaguars also defeated Darby 20-3 on May 11.
Davidson girls open postseason
The Davidson girls were 8-8 overall before playing Cincinnati Ursuline or Lebanon on May 15 in the second round of the Division I South/Central Region tournament. The Wildcats had a first-round bye.
The winner advanced to a regional semifinal Monday, May 20, at Liberty Township Lakota East or Mason. The Wildcats defeated Lakota East 9-8 on May 4.
The regional final is May 23.
The Wildcats finished 2-4 in the OCC-Ohio with an 18-4 loss to Orange on May 9. Senior attacker Alexis Fugitt, senior midfielder Rachelle Walko, junior attacker Lane Garrett and junior midfielder Christine Kausel all scored. Senior goalie Marie Austin had nine saves and junior goalie Marisa Smock added seven.
Davidson also defeated Wellington 14-6 on May 7.
Darby loses tourney opener
The Darby girls finished 2-14 overall with a 17-4 loss to Cincinnati St. Ursula on May 13 in a first-round Division I South/Central Region tournament game.
The Panthers finished 0-6 in the OCC-Buckeye after losing to Coffman 15-1 on May 9. Senior midfielder Becca Heicher scored and sophomore goalie Dillon Brown had five saves.