Creating an atmosphere of trust was among the principles Pete Campbell hoped to put in place during his first season as Pickerington High School Central boys lacrosse coach.

Creating an atmosphere of trust was among the principles Pete Campbell hoped to put in place during his first season as Pickerington High School Central boys lacrosse coach.

Having a weekly dinner with the seniors and captains and getting off to a good start on the field have helped that become reality.

Before falling to Dublin Coffman 13-6 on April 4, the Tigers averaged 15.7 goals during a four-game winning streak.

"One thing I like is that we have a senior dinner every Thursday before a Friday game," said Campbell, who was the defensive coordinator before taking over as head coach this spring. "We have a dinner and just talk. Since the majority of our team is upperclassmen, we have a lot of guys there."

Central has seven seniors, including captains Jake Raymond (midfielder), Garyck Todd (defender) and Darius Wagner (midfielder).

Junior captains Devon Maki (midfielder) and Brent Walton (attacker) also attend the dinners, which provide an opportunity to talk about everything from strategy to concerns, according to Raymond.

"(The dinners have) definitely been bringing things together," Raymond said. "It's another way to stay together and get some things off our chest. We talk about things that we think we can do better, and (Campbell) is not just the kind of guy who says, 'I'm running the team and it's going to be my way.' He's open to adjustments and ideas that we come up with."

Raymond signed with Morehead State in February to play football, but he also had lacrosse offers from Otterbein University, Lake Erie College in Paines-ville and Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., despite not coming out for the sport until his sophomore year.

According to Campbell, the passing abilities of Raymond and Walton, combined with the finishing skills of Maki, have been keys to the offense.

The goalkeeping play of junior Cole Naylor also is something Campbell believes has been crucial to Central's strong start.

"We learned a lot from (the Coffman game)," Campbell said. "Their spring break was last week and they might have had a little bit of flatness, but I'm pretty excited. We're sitting right where we want to be. They're learning the system and starting to learn what it means to play as a team.

"Our offense is putting up points, but we've not put together a complete game yet. We've been very solid between the pipes, with Cole making the big saves when we need it. That kind of picks the team up."

North girls ready for busy stretch

Because the Pickerington North girls team didn't play its opener until April 10, it will play nine games over the next 15 days.

Included in that stretch will be a pair of games in the Hannigan-Galipault Tournament on Saturday, April 21, when the Panthers play Shaker Heights and Uniontown Green at Thomas Worthington.

They then return to OCC-Central Division play Monday, April 23, at Westerville South. The teams did not meet a year ago despite being in the same league.

North opened with a 16-0 victory over league-foe Big Walnut but lost to non-league Worthington Kilbourne 17-7 on April 12.

Junior Abbey Paulus had a combined eight goals during Central's first two games, and senior Katelyn Mickelson scored a combined six.

Senior goalkeeper Madeleine Snare had five saves in the opener and six against Kilbourne.

After going 13-4 and winning the league title a year ago, coach Norm Deena believes the Kilbourne game could prove to be a teaching tool for the remainder of the season.

"(Kilbourne has) a disciplined program," Deena said. "I just think we've got to get settled on offense. They're probably the highest-rated team on our schedule.

"There have been some positive moments with the way we've been jelling. I thought our opener was a good way to come out, but we can't use that a benchmark for the rest of the season. Our goal is to beat every team we play on ground balls. We're going to keep working on a lot of motion and a lot of ball movement."