Worthington Christian Roundup
Boys soccer team is ready to step up
Worthington Christian High School boys soccer coach Dan Roads was asked more than once the past few months how his team might replace a player who scored 108 career goals and was Division III district Player of the Year each of the past two seasons.
While there's no easy answer for who will fill the void left by 2012 graduate Brett Elder, a Wright State freshman who also was the ThisWeek Super 12 captain last fall, Roads has answers he believes should satisfy any skeptics. Elder had 36 goals and 11 assists.
The Warriors, who won their third state title in six seasons last fall and finished 18-4-1, opened Aug. 21 against Westerville South.
"A lot of the boys have stepped up and said, 'I want to be the guy and I want to handle the pressure,'" said Roads, who is in his fifth season. "We've also got back the three players who are the most experienced soccer players in the entire state of Ohio when you consider that they all three started as freshmen."
The trio Roads was referring to is senior midfielders Albert Miller and George Miller and senior forward Quinn Miller. Albert and George are twins but are not related to Quinn.
Quinn Miller is the leading returning scorer after having 11 goals and four assists last season. Albert Miller had nine goals and 10 assists.
Joining the Miller brothers at midfielder are senior Riley Windsor, junior Sam Condon, sophomore J.J. Phillips and freshman Joe Long.
Senior Thomas Holman has moved to forward after finishing with 94 saves at goalkeeper last season. Sophomore Jake Kress is the new goalie.
The team's biggest area of inexperience is a defense that includes senior Robbie Beitman and juniors Mason Highman, Mark Parsell and Isaac Sayre.
Also looking to contribute are juniors Jay Trainer and Sam Trautman and sophomores Ben Davison, Ryan Dickinson and Trent Strick.
Last season, the Warriors beat Grove City Christian 10-0, Gahanna Christian 7-0 and Delaware Christian 5-1 to win their seventh consecutive district title. They then beat Berlin Hiland 4-3 in overtime and Coshocton 6-0 to win their seventh regional title in a row and defeated Cincinnati Madeira 5-3 to make their fourth consecutive state final.
Worthington Christian defeated Gates Mills Hawken 2-0 to win the state title.
Girls volleyball team expecting big season
The girls volleyball team has its eye on the first district title in program history after it earned a Division IV district runner-up finish a year ago.
Senior Camila Quinones, a 6-foot-1 middle hitter who made first-team all-district last season, is the top returnee.
Also back are seniors Caylan DeLucia (outside hitter) and Rebecca Huff (outside hitter/ defensive specialist) and juniors Maggie Cunningham (outside hitter), Emily Griffith (libero), Ali Spayde (setter) and Janelle Wilcox (right-side hitter).
Seniors Audrey Rettstatt (outside hitter) and Alyssa Belkofer (back row) and juniors Audrey Lewis (middle hitter) and Molly McIntosh (setter) are others looking to contribute.
The Warriors, who open Saturday, Aug. 25, at River Valley, went 16-7 last season.
"I think this could be one of our best seasons," said Matt Liston, who enters his fourth season as coach. "We have a lot of starters back and a real strong crop of seniors."
Last season, Worthington Christian was the fourth seed for the district tournament and opened with wins over Gilead Christian (25-20, 25-22, 25-22) and eighth-seeded Tree of Life (29-27, 25-14, 13-25, 22-25, 15-11). The Warriors lost to Shekinah Christian 25-15, 25-16, 25-12 in a district final.
Boys golfers out to build on state run
The boys golf team has a new coach after placing fourth (703) in the 12-team Division III state tournament last season behind champion Wellington (674).
Tom Burns, who was Worthington Christian's coach in 2004 and 2005, began his second tenure in early August after Dave Muschott resigned. Muschott had coached the team for six seasons.
Back after competing at state last season are junior Robert Maloney and senior Jacob Deskins. Juniors Tyler Hood and Graham Montgomery and freshman Nathan Kim are expected to round out the top five, with sophomore Kyle Mattson and freshman Jared Montgomery also in the mix.
"Obviously it's nice to take over a team that was fourth in the state," Burns said. "We're looking to replace a few guys in the top five, but Robert will be a standout. (We) should be pretty good."
The Warriors tied Mount Gilead for second (338) behind Newark Catholic (329) in last year's sectional at Pine Hill but advanced to district because they had a better fifth-player score. They then shot 320 at district behind Wellington (314) and Sugarcreek Garaway (318) to advance to state.
Keaton Lovas, a 2012 graduate, led the Warriors at state with a 171 (17th). Maloney tied for 21st with a 173, followed by Casey Hamrick (175), Deskins (184) and 2012 graduate Brien Hodgson (186). Hamrick, a sophomore last season, is not back with the team.
Girls tennis team excited for season
The girls tennis team has six seniors after it earned a district runner-up finish in the OTCA Division II state team tournament last season.
The Warriors, who play their opening match in the state team tournament Thursday, Aug. 23, against visiting Granville, feature seniors Corey Naim and Jessica Bush in the top two spots. The other seniors are Joy Cho, Gabrielle Lawrence, Michaela Louden and Sarah Mynes.
Juniors Caroline Carpenter and Grace Harper, sophomore Andra Polsdorfer and freshman Christina Hemmingsen also are looking to contribute.
"I feel like we have a very strong team with a strong group of seniors," second-year coach Midge Taylor said. "I'm very excited about their leadership."
Last season, the Warriors beat Bexley 3-2 in an OTCA district semifinal but lost to Columbus Academy 5-0 in a district final to finish 13-4.
Bush advanced individually to district, where she lost to Academy's Andrea Ballinger 6-0, 6-1 in a quarterfinal.
Ruthie Cathers and Amy Early led a four-member 2012 senior class.