The Marysville High School boys lacrosse team has taken a big step in the program's progression.
After playing at the club level its first four years, Marysville will compete at the Division II level in the postseason and has joined the OCC.
The Monarchs, who were 2-1 before playing Bexley on April 11, are competing in the OCC-Ohio Division with Dublin Scioto, Gahanna, Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Darby, New Albany and Olentangy Orange.
Marysville opened league play April 2 by losing at Bradley 19-3.
Coach Art Baschnagel, who is in his fifth season, said the team will move up to Division I in 2016.
"This is where we've been driving to," he said. "The program is in its fifth season at the high school level. We're slowly building. We've been consistent with our numbers. Although our competition is a little heavier and I try to schedule the harder competition so we can keep up with the pace, our kids are playing a lot better. They're more knowledgeable about it."
Athletics director Joe Bline said that while boys lacrosse is a recognized varsity sport, it is not receiving financial support from the athletics department and does not have coaching supplements or district transportation. Therefore, the school still recognizes it as a club team.
Last season, Marysville finished 9-8 after starting 0-5.
Marysville opened this season April 1 by defeating Columbus City Schools 15-2.
The Monarchs bounced back from the loss to Bradley with a 16-2 win April 9 at Buckeye Valley.
Senior defender Steve Milroy was first-team all-region and second-team all-state last season. Also back are seniors Jacob Burge (midfielder), Aaron Carpenter (midfielder), Colin Cassidy (defender), Casey Little (attacker), Nick Mazza (midfielder), Chris Phillips (midfielder) and Chase Spencer (specialty player), juniors Gage Auxter (midfielder), Blake Curry (attacker), Van Rumler (defender) and Keano Smith (defender) and sophomores Andrew Blumenshein (defender) and Ashton Guthrie (defender).
Sophomore goalkeeper Dane Marlatt has replaced Alec Todd, who graduated. Todd had been a member of the program since it began.
"Dane has been around awhile, so he has taken on the varsity duties this year," Baschnagel said. "I think he can handle the pressure right now."
Other players are senior Chris Chuvalas (defender), juniors Alec Rich (attacker) and Jared Wolfe (midfielder) and sophomore Wyatt Burge (attacker).
Jacob Burge, Carpenter, Curry, Mazza and Milroy are captains.
"We have multiple kids with a lot of scoring power," Baschnagel said. "We have a good handful of seniors ... and I expect a lot of them to step up and take shots, and they're not afraid to take the shots. We just need to corral them and get them playing together and find out who our leaders are."
Another key loss to graduation was Adam Capuano, who last season was named state Player of the Year at midfielder and first-team all-region. He had 56 goals and 32 assists.
Girls lacrosse team to play in OCC
The girls lacrosse team also has joined the OCC and will play in the OCC-Cardinal with Dublin Jerome, Bradley, Darby, Scioto and Worthington Kilbourne.
The Monarchs opened league play April 10, losing to Scioto 17-4.
Marysville is coached by Michael Burnes, who was an assistant in the program last season. He replaced Amanda Warner, who coached the team for its first three seasons.
"I'm new to head coaching," said Burnes, whose stepdaughter is senior midfielder Christina Peck. "This is a whole new realm for me, so I want to build a team. We had a non-winning season last season (3-11). I would like to be at least above .500 this year and see what we can do. I'm already really pleased with where we're at now."
The Monarchs opened April 5 by winning at Chillicothe 13-12 in overtime. Senior midfielder Audrey Minor scored the winning goal and senior attacker Courtney Hickey had five goals.
Senior goalie Cassie Todd, who finished last season with 178 saves, had 13 against Chillicothe.
"Cassie is a phenomenal goalie," Burnes said.
Also back are seniors Jessica Bruce (defender), Brandi Dalton (attacker), Peck and Hannah Staats (defender) and sophomore Karlee Basinger (midfielder).
Other players are seniors Whitney Brofford (defen-der/goalie), Luisa Kraemer (attacker) and Cassandra Smith (attacker), juniors Danielle Crowder (mid-fielder/attacker) and Moriah Taylor (attacker/midfielder), sophomores Steph Brogan (defender), Katie Hiser (defender), Emily Hunt (midfielder), Megan Merrick (attacker), Kourtney Minor (attacker) and Kristan Nelson (attacker) and freshmen Kaylynn Borror (defender), Jessica Gingras (attacker), Hannah Schultz (defender) and Mackenzie Smegal (defender).
Burnes said depth could be an issue. The program has 23 players, down from 36 a year ago.
A key loss to graduation was attacker Katie Basinger, who led the team with 55 goals last season.
Bline said the girls program still is considered a club team, although it will be recognized by the school.
Baseball team begins league play 2-0
The baseball team won its first two OCC-Central games, defeating Westland 19-0 in five innings at home April 8 and winning at Westland 13-5 on April 9.
Marysville defeated Gahanna 9-8 at home on April 10 and was 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the league before playing Dublin Coffman on April 11.
"We're making progress, but we really need to understand the details of the game," coach Mark Brunswick said.
Softball team out to good start
The softball team was 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the league before playing Olentangy Liberty on April 11.
Marysville opened league play April 9 by winning at Coffman 11-4.
The Monarchs pulled away with six runs in the sixth inning.
Riley Nelson doubled twice and singled twice, and Logan Carper and Katelynn Russell each added three hits.
Nelson homered and singled in Marysville's 18-1 win in five innings at home against Westland on April 10.
"Coach (Chris) Shirer and I are very pleased with how the girls are playing," co-coach Jennifer Segner-Maxwell said. "Our defense is playing very well, our pitching is keeping the opposing team off balance at the plate and our hitting continues to improve."
Boys tennis team wins 1st league match
The boys tennis team opened its OCC-Central schedule by defeating Westland 3-2 on April 8 at home.
Winners were Javan Bushong 6-1, 6-2 at first singles, Hunter Cox and Devin Syar 6-2, 6-0 at first doubles and Steven Britt and Kyle Pratt 7-5, 6-3 at second doubles.
The Monarchs lost at Upper Arlington 5-0 on April 9 and were 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the league after defeating Central Crossing 4-1 on April 10.