For the third time in three years, the Wellington School boys soccer team begins the season with a new coach, but Kyle Hamrick is hardly a new face.

For the third time in three years, the Wellington School boys soccer team begins the season with a new coach, but Kyle Hamrick is hardly a new face.

"The biggest challenge is certainly carrying the continuity of the program," said Hamrick, who takes over for Brian Galvin after having served as an assistant last year. "The players and the parents need to be reassured the same coach will be here next year."

Hamrick, who coached the junior varsity boys basketball team last winter, inherits a team that finished 7-7-3 overall a year ago after losing to second-seeded Grandview 5-1 in a Division III district semifinal.

Defensively, Wellington allowed 30 goals, the fewest in program history. Ryan McLaughlin, a three-year starter at goalkeeper, transferred to Westerville South for his senior season and has been replaced by senior Matt Sorrels. Seniors Alex Anderson, Reid Postle and Nathan Klabunde return as defenders. Additionally, senior Mac Young, who missed last season after breaking both of his ankles in a skiing accident, should be a welcomed addition to the defense.

"We have nearly our entire defense returning and this year we want them involved with the attack more," Hamrick said. "They're fit enough to get back and slow down any counter against us."

The big question for the Jaguars may be its offense, which averaged 2.88 goals a game last year. Wellington lost its top scorer in Jeremy Guinn, a first-team all-district selection who scored 13 goals and had six assists, to graduation.

However, at the Mason Preseason Classic on July 24, the Jaguars scored 18 goals and allowed only six while going 3-0-2 in scrimmages.

Wellington returns senior Patrick Kim, who had 10 goals and six assists last season, as well as junior Omead Sinai in the midfield and picked up junior midfielder Cameron Kurt, who played for Granville last season. Senior Corey Morse and sophomore Iakovos Anastasakis will lead the forwards.

"We don't have a problem scoring goals," Hamrick said. "We'll be scoring out of our midfield, but I'd like to see the forwards scoring a bit more."

•After enduring only his second losing season during his tenure with the girls soccer team, 10th-year coach Billy Thompson concluded the disappointing season a year ago may have been one of the best things to happen to the program.

The Jaguars, who finished 6-9-2 overall after losing to Columbus Academy 3-1 in the second round of the Division II district tournament, enter the season eager to improve.

"Last year was pretty tough, but one of the good things to come out of that was it challenges the way you do things," Thompson said. "I think we're ready to push forward."

Wellington is hoping to avoid the slow start it had last year. After opening with a 1-0 victory over Buckeye Valley a year ago, the Jaguars were outscored 22-6 while losing seven of their next eight games.

Wellington will rely on senior forwards Dara Love and Elaine Poon and junior midfielders Kayla Barton, Paige Price and Sophie Knowles to lead the offense. Love scored 19 of the Jaguars' 27 goals last season. Senior Abbe Kaplan and freshmen Natalie Morse, Mallory Tannous, Abby Fleeter and Emily Bichsel also will see time in the midfield, and senior Casey Fleeter and freshmen Sarah Wakeman and Livie Whapham are competing for time at forward.

"Dara's a dangerous scorer, and she and Elaine might have to carry that offense," Thompson said. "Dara's been good since she was a freshman. As a senior now, this is her time to carry us."

Leading the defense will be senior Becky Shin and freshman Gabby Smith as defenders and junior goalkeeper Mckenzie Danis. Senior Shana Griffin, junior Annie Postle, sophomores Neale Snyder, Colleen Kletzly and Helen Fite and freshmen Nia Kaudo and Katie Brailer also are competing for playing time as defenders.

"We've got a lot of players returning," Thompson said. "Last year, our defensive system worked about 80 percent of the time, but when it didn't work, teams just punished us. This year, I'm hoping the defense will hold up 90-95 percent of the time."

Schedules

BOYS SOCCER

Aug. 23 - vs. Buckeye Valley

Aug. 31 - vs. Columbus Academy

Sept. 3 - at Gahanna Christian

Sept. 11 - at Grandview

Sept. 16 - at Jonathan Alder

Sept. 21 - vs. Granville Christian

Sept. 23 - at Centennial

Sept. 25 - vs. Delaware Christian

Sept. 28 - at Canal Winchester

Sept. 30 - at Worthington Christian

Oct. 2 - vs. Logan Elm

Oct. 5 - at Fairbanks

Oct. 7 - vs. Northridge

Oct. 9 - at Tree of Life

Oct. 12 - vs. Village Academy

Oct. 16 - vs. Bloom-Carroll

GIRLS SOCCER

Aug. 23 - at Buckeye Valley

Aug. 26 - vs. Ready

Sept. 1 - vs. Fairbanks

Sept. 4 - at Grandview

Sept. 11 - at Bloom-Carroll

Sept. 13 - at Hartley

Sept. 15 - at Jonathan Alder

Sept. 21 - at Columbus Academy

Sept. 24 - vs. Worthington Christian

Sept. 27 - vs. Granville

Sept. 28 - vs. Circleville

Oct. 2 - vs. Logan Elm

Oct. 5 - at Canal Winchester

Oct. 9 - vs. Tree of Life

Oct. 12 - at Mansfield Christian

Oct. 14 - vs. CSG


At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Wellington boys golf, boys soccer, girls golf, girls soccer and girls tennis teams:

BOYS GOLF

Aug. 9 - Tied Bexley for first (331) at Jaguar Early Bird Invitational. Bexley won on the fifth-player score. Jon Taylor (75) was medalist.

Aug. 10 - Finished first (292) at 12-team small-school division of North Union Invitational at Glenross. Quinten Henricks (67) was medalist.

Aug. 12 - Defeated St. Charles B 319-374

Aug. 18 - Finished fourth (327) at nine-team Big Walnut Invitational, behind Toledo Ottawa Hills (305), Hilliard Davidson (314) and Westerville South (326)

Last Monday - Finished eighth (342) at Columbus Academy Shootout behind champion Kettering Alter (301)

Last Tuesday - Played at St. Charles Invitational at TBA

Monday - Village Academy at TBA

BOYS SOCCER

Last Monday - Played Buckeye Valley

Tuesday - Home vs. Columbus Academy

Sept. 3 - At Gahanna Christian

GIRLS GOLF

Aug. 11 - Match against Bexley at Safari postponed

Aug. 16 - Def. Centerburg 205-220 at Safari

Aug. 18 - Lost to Jonathan Alder 196-228 at Marysville Golf Club

Aug. 19 - Placed fourth (407) at the seven-team Division II division of the MOGGL tournament, behind Granville (364), Bexley (368), Columbus School for Girls (402) at Echo Springs. Annie Miller (74) was medalist.

Last Monday - Lost to Columbus School for Girls 215-220

Last Tuesday - Played Newark Catholic

Today - Watterson B at Glenross

Saturday - MOGGL tournament at Foxfire

Tuesday - Olentangy Liberty at Scioto Reserve

GIRLS SOCCER

Last Monday - Def. Buckeye Valley 5-2

Today - Home vs. Ready

Sept. 1 - Home vs. Fairbanks

GIRLS TENNIS

Last Monday - Played New Albany

Today - At Bexley

Friday - At Worthington Christian

Monday - Home vs. Marion Pleasant

Tuesday - At Columbus Academy

Wednesday - At Columbus School for Girls

Sept. 3 - At Mansfield St. Peter's