Westerville News & Public Opinion

Boys Lacrosse

Warhawks came close to 'outstanding year'

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Central's Cole Cox tries to corral a loose ball as Tommy Bichsel of North closes in during their game May 9. Cox was one of nine seniors for the Warhawks and Bichsel is expected to be among the top returnees next season for the Warriors.

Although he hoped his team would advance further in the Division I Central Region tournament, Westerville Central High School boys lacrosse player Brooks Burton was pleased the Warhawks achieved one of their goals.

They won the Westerville Cup, which is given each year to the team that finishes with the best record against its Westerville opponents.

Central won the award in 2012, but finished second to North last season.

This season, Central defeated North 11-5 on May 9 and South 17-2 on May 14.

"That was one of our goals going into the year and we accomplished it," Burton said. "That was a big feat. We had a board at the beginning of the year and one of the things (on it) was to beat Westerville North and Westerville South. Those are always big rivalry games and we accomplished that this year."

In the play-in round of the regional tournament, the 11th-seeded Warhawks lost at seventh-seeded New Albany 9-5 on May 22 to finish 11-8 overall. The Warhawks had defeated the Eagles 11-6 on April 12 at home.

Central used a late-season, five-game winning streak to climb over the .500 mark.

The Warhawks went 5-1 in the OCC-Central Division to finish second behind Delaware (6-0) and ahead of Pickerington Central (4-2), Pickerington North (3-3), Westerville North (2-4), Big Walnut (1-5) and South (0-6).

Central lost at Delaware 11-10 in double overtime April 9.

"This was statistically the best team in the school's history based upon strength of schedule and our resulting record compared to that," coach Keith Copeland said. "We had a couple of very defining wins and let three games slip by one goal (against St. Charles, Delaware and Thomas Worthington), so we were very close to having an outstanding year."

Central lost to St. Charles 6-5 on April 30 and Thomas 13-12 on May 12.

Goalkeeper Nick Bradburn, who was one of nine seniors, finished with 173 saves and was named league Player of the Year and second-team all-region.

Burton, a junior attacker, led the team in scoring with 57 goals and 20 assists and was first-team all-league and second-team all-region.

Senior attacker Bobby Zimmerer had 32 goals and 29 assists and was first-team all-league. Junior attacker Trenton Kindall had 41 goals and 22 assists and was second-team all-league.

Senior midfielder Cameron Fry, who will play at Division III Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., had 19 goals and nine assists and was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-region.

Senior defender David Alexander was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-region, and sophomore defender Dante York was honorable mention all-league.

Copeland credited the seniors for helping the team finish with a winning record.

"This group of seniors has added a great contribution in the area of leadership and setting a precedent for future teams," Copeland said. "There is now a higher standard that the team's leadership will be held to largely because of what they accomplished."


North will have new coach next season

North finished 3-13 overall after losing at fourth-seeded Olentangy 17-4 on May 21 in the play-in round of the regional tournament. The Warriors were the 18th seed.

North's league wins came against Big Walnut (13-2 on April 18) and South (13-7 on May 16). The Warriors also defeated Gahanna 14-13 in overtime April 11.

Sophomore midfielder Austin Popovich was first-team all-league.

Junior defender Drew Dutson and sophomore face-off specialist Quinn Nicodemus were second-team all-league, and junior goalie Will Newton was honorable mention all-league.

The Warriors will lose six players to graduation.

Athletics director Vicki Saunders said Austin Ford will not return after three seasons as coach. Under Ford, the Warriors were 20-34.


South finishes with three wins

South, which was seeded 20th of 20 teams in the regional tournament, lost at fifth-seeded Olentangy Liberty 23-1 on May 22 in the play-in round to finish 3-15 overall

The Wildcats defeated Wheeling (W.Va.) Park 7-5 on March 30, Wellington 6-5 on April 5 and Jonathan Alder 6-1 on April 23.

Defender Ben Gregory, who was one of six seniors, was first-team all-league.

Seniors Luke Rapp (goalie) and Austin See-Cook (attacker) were second-team all-league, and junior defender Colton Morris was honorable mention all-league.