Before the season, Westerville Central High School boys lacrosse coach Keith Copeland was uncertain of junior midfielder Jared Drake's role on the team.
Drake, the football team's quarterback, had considered playing a limited role with the lacrosse team so he could concentrate on football.
That plan included being primarily a faceoff specialist in lacrosse and competing as a sprinter on the track and field team to help increase his speed.
The plan apparently has changed.
While he remains a member of the track team, his role on the lacrosse team has been more prominent. Drake scored five goals in a 10-9 overtime win over visiting Delaware on April 12.
Drake's final goal came with 55.6 seconds remaining in overtime. His shot deflected off goalkeeper Michael Duffy and rolled into the net for the winning score.
"This is a great game," Drake said. "It's hard to keep me off the field. I love it. It's a great program to be a part of. I'm really appreciative of the coaches for letting me do what I can do."
Central trailed 4-1 before Drake's goal with 6.6 seconds remaining in the first quarter helped the team rally for a 5-4 lead.
The Warhawks tied the game at 9 when senior attacker C.J. Naples scored on an assist from sophomore attacker Trenton Kindall with 57.3 seconds left in regulation.
Drake's day on April 13 included taking the ACT in the morning, competing for the track team in the Red Edwards Golden Eagle Relays at Big Walnut in the afternoon and playing a lacrosse game at Olentangy in the evening.
"It wasn't necessarily a tough decision," Copeland said of increasing Drake's responsibilities. "Jared is real hardworking kid with a great attitude. It worked out a little bit better than we thought. He picked up the offense and defense a little bit quicker than we thought and we're just low on players. We don't have that many players."
After beginning the season with losses to Hudson (19-5 on March 26) and Dublin Coffman (6-5 in overtime April 4), the Warhawks had won two consecutive games before losing at Olentangy 15-10.
Naples, who scored five goals in a 10-7 win over New Albany on April 6 and four against Delaware, led the team with 16 goals and Drake had 11 before the Warhawks played DeSales on April 17.
On Friday, April 19, Central plays host to Westerville South.
Last season, the Warhawks defeated South 13-11.
"We're on the cusp," Cope-land said. "I see a lot of potential in our individual players. It seems like we have one thing that goes wrong every game. (Against Delaware) we just threw the ball away too much. We just turned it over a lot. We've had games where we couldn't finish inside. We've had games where we couldn't catch the ball inside. This group is coachable, but they're young."
South's Norman earns first win
The South boys team earned its first win under coach Mike Norman by defeating Wellington 8-5 in its final game in the eight-team home Wildcat Classic on April 7.
"It was our first win and it was a pretty good all-around effort," Norman said.
McMurray (Pa.) Peters Township defended its Wildcat Classic title, finishing 3-0.
South's eight goals against Wellington were a season high before playing Hilliard Bradley on April 17. The Wildcats scored just 25 goals in their first six games.
Attacker Kane Wollmuth led the team in scoring with 11 goals and one assist, followed by attacker Ryan Miller with three goals and five assists and attacker Austin See-Cook with four goals.
South fell behind Big Walnut 8-2 before a rally fell short in an 8-6 loss April 12 at home.
"We really didn't play up to our abilities, especially in that game," Norman said.
Despite the slow start, Norman has been pleased with the team's work ethic.
"It's been very enjoyable," he said. "I love working with the boys. We have several kids that have no quit in them. They work hard for me from start to finish, so that's always rewarding when you have a few players that play that hard for you."
North off to good start
After beginning the season with three wins in Orlando, Fla., the North boys team snapped a two-game losing streak by defeating Erie (Pa.) McDowell 12-6 on April 12 at home.
Senior midfielder Peter Sandvik led the Warriors with four goals and sophomore goalkeeper Will Newton made 10 saves.
"That was a good turnaround for us," said coach Austin Ford, whose team was 4-2 before playing St. Charles on April 16.
Ford said senior defender Joe Willis injured his left knee during a 9-8 win over Orlando (Fla.) Olympia on March 28. Willis has not played since the injury, but Ford was hoping he would return soon.
Ford said with Willis out of the lineup, seniors Adam Gray and Grant Shoemaker have stepped up in his place.
Shoemaker scored a goal against McDowell.
Through six games, sophomore attacker Cody Fisher led the team with 16 goals, followed by Sandvik with 15 and senior attacker Ryan Buck with 13.
Newton had 55 saves.