Thomas boys focused on winning state title
Trenton Harper and Mason Zurovchak remember the excitement surrounding the Thomas Worthington High School boys water polo team in 2009 when it reached the state final, where it lost to Upper Arlington 9-8 in double overtime.
Harper and Zurovchak were freshmen that season and saw limited playing time. Now, three years later, the duo hope to help lead the Cardinals back to the state final as seniors and win the program's first state title since 2003.
"To be there and soak it all in was really great because now that we were there as freshmen, we know what the feeling is and we didn't even get in (the game), so we want it all that more," Zurovchak said.
"Winning states would be the perfect ending to the season," Harper said.
Thomas is 11-3-1 heading into the Ohio Cup, which will be held Saturday, Sept. 8, and Sunday, Sept. 9, at Worthington Pool. The Cardinals are looking to bounce back from a 12-4 loss to UA on Aug. 29.
"I have a lot of confidence in this team," fifth-year coach John Wolf said. "(Aug. 29) wasn't a good day for them. It happens. Playing UA helps us spot what's going on with our team and gives us things to work on. What matters is what happens at the end of the season."
Last season, UA reached a state semifinal, where it lost to eventual state champion St. Charles 14-13 in overtime. The Golden Bears defeated Milford 12-9 in the consolation game.
Thomas finished 22-17 last fall, falling one win shy of qualifying for the state tournament after losing to Toledo St. Francis 14-9 in the North Regional. The Cardinals went 3-2 at regional.
Senior goalkeeper Michael Frankland, who was on 2009 team, also is being counted on to help lead the Cardinals. He, Harper and Zurovchak are the only seniors on the team and sharing captain duties.
"I'm very happy with the way Michael is playing," Wolf said. "Michael is playing excellent in goal. He's a very good goalie. He's worked very hard at it."
Junior Michael Wolf, who is expected to play a key role this season, suffered a concussion in the Napoleon Invitational on Aug. 17. Coach Wolf, who is Michael's father, isn't sure when his son will return to the lineup.
Also on the team are juniors Matt Jones, Corey Lawell, James Miller and Matthew Reed, sophomores Tyler Girard, Thomas Kessler, Luke Porteus, Brady Roesch and Thomas Shimpert and freshmen Brandon Armitage, Ian Banks, William Ford, Corey Hannigan, Cameron Harper and Stuart Mueller.
"Effort is really the key right now," Zurovchak said. "We have a lot of talent and, because we have been winning so much, we have kind of gone into this daze of we can have a huge lapse and we can show up and win. (The loss to UA) was a slap in the face, and I think we needed it."
The Cardinals lost only two players from a year ago to graduation, including Adam Wolf, who led the team with 121 goals last year.
Thomas girls optimistic despite start to season
Despite having a 5-7 record, fifth-year Thomas girls coach Kimi Segarra believes his team can contend for the state championship.
The Cardinals last won a state title in 2009, defeating UA 12-11 in the championship game.
"We would like to win the North Region and battle for the state title game," Segarra said.
The Cardinals return senior goalie Carly Porteus, who had 238 saves last season. Porteus and senior Abby Jank are team captains.
Also on the team are juniors Cassandra Laios, Elizabeth Schonhiutt and Abby Shell, sophomores Aidan Hartsell, Erin Lavender, Myah McClure, Melissa Matthews and Abby Wiet and freshmen Olivia Love, Courtney Russell and Malesha Sabir.
"This is the first time in a while that we have been losing like this," Segarra said. "We are rebuilding the team."
Last season, the Cardinals finished 25-6, losing to UA 15-10 in the state final.
Thomas lost five players from a year ago to graduation, including Katie Allison, who led the team with 81 goals.
Kilbourne boys still looking for first win
The Kilbourne boys team heads into the Ohio Cup this weekend searching for its first win.
The Wolves are off to an 0-10 start after going 19-16 last season, finishing 2-2 in the North Regional.
"Kilbourne is off to a very rough start this year," coach Wolf said. "They're struggling. They lost a lot of players. We have a lot of young players that are coming along. They're getting the basics down, but it's just that, it's the basics. Unfortunately, I don't have much of a bench to substitute and get guys rest."
Seniors Nathan Deagle and Mitchell Guist are team captains.
Also on the team are seniors Jason Defourny and Neil Hodges, juniors Ben Green, Jonathon Haddad, Riku Kaida, Mason Schaaf and Ben Wallin, sophomore Grayton Giesman and freshmen Sky Anderson, Nick Catanzarite, Andrew Cook, Chase Fickell and Connor Jordan.
Last season, 2012 graduate Keeler Callahan led the team with 90 goals.
Kilbourne girls look to improve on last year
The Kilbourne girls team is hoping to improve on last season despite being off to a 5-6 start.
Last season, the Wolves finished 11-19-1, going 2-2 in the North Regional.
Kilbourne is led by senior goalie Emily Wallin, who had 314 saves last season.
Wallin, senior Hannah Goldenberg and junior Lindsey Fisher are team captains.
Also on the team are sophomores Emily Bowen, Adele Buchbinder and Courtney Fisher and freshmen Emma Catalogna, Amelia Johnson, Jamie Stegmayer and Katherine Wood.
Last season, 2012 graduate Cassie Barrett led the team with 94 goals.