There might not be a better one-two offensive punch in the state in Division III high school girls soccer than the one possessed by Worthington Christian.
The Warriors, who were fifth in last week's state poll, made it to a district semifinal for the first time since 2004 a year ago with midfielder Lauren Weygandt and forward Devon Jones leading the way.
Weygandt and Jones are juniors who have helped Worthington Christian to a 7-1-1 overall start heading into a non-league game Sept. 17 against Jonathan Alder.
The Warriors are 2-0 in their first season in the MSL-Ohio Division, with wins over Columbus Academy (3-0 on Aug. 27) and Grandview (1-0 on Aug. 29).
"Lauren's like the glue," coach Shari Welsh said. "She's very skilled and very creative, and definitely very talented. (Jones and Weygandt) play so well together. You remove one of them from the game and it makes a difference."
Jones scored three goals in a 5-0 win over Hartley on Sept. 3 to increase her total to 10 through seven games. Weygandt had three goals and seven assists through seven games.
Other contributors to the Warriors' strong start have been sophomore Kasey Richards (defender) and freshmen Kristen Frazier (forward) and Bridgette Rettstatt (midfielder). Senior goalkeeper Sami Jones had 39 saves through seven games.
Last season, Worthington Christian lost to Hartley 3-0.
Hawks coach Scott Dempsey suggested after his team's loss to the Warriors that Weygandt could be the best midfielder in central Ohio in Division III.
Weygandt is the sister of Seth Weygandt, a Worthington Christian senior, and Brooks Weygandt, a 2012 graduate. Seth is a basketball player for the Warriors and Brooks also played basketball.
Their mother, Martha Weygandt, coached volleyball at the school before stepping down after the 2007 season.
"Our senior and junior classes have been stepping up a lot, and our freshmen have been doing their jobs," Lauren Weygandt said. "Last year we went the furthest that any Worthington Christian team has gone for a while. Going one step further would be nice."
Girls tennis team out to strong start
Despite losing six players from a year ago to graduation, the girls tennis team was 8-3 overall beforeplaying Thomas Worthington on Sept. 16 and 2-1 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Bexley on Sept. 17.
Senior Caroline Carpenter is at first singles, with sophomore Christina Hemmingsen playing second singles and senior Maddie Tjoelker at third singles.
Seniors Grace Harper and Brooke Hockenberry are playing first doubles.
Freshman Jordan Byers is seeing action at third singles and second doubles, and juniors Joy Pritchard and Andra Polsdorfer also are playing second doubles.
"They're working very hard, they have a good attitude and they're all doing a great job," coach Midge Taylor said. "I'm very, very pleased with how the season is going so far."
Worthington Christian opened MSL-Ohio play Aug. 20 with a 5-0 win at London but lost by the same score Aug. 29 at Columbus Academy.
The Warriors close the league schedule Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Bexley and Sept. 30 against visiting Whitehall.
Last season, the doubles team of 2013 graduates Sarah Mynes and Corey Naim was runner-up in a Division II sectional. The pair lost in the first round at district.
Jessica Bush, also a 2013 graduate, played first singles last season.
"We graduated six starters from last year so it's a little bit of a rebuilding year, but the girls have a lot of experience from playing (junior varsity)," Taylor said.
Boys runners aiming for regional
With its top three runners back, the boys cross country team's goal is advancing to the Division III regional, but injuries have complicated matters so far.
Senior Matt Watterson, who placed 30th (17 minutes, 45.34 seconds) at regional as an individual a year ago, had an ankle injury late in the preseason and had his wisdom teeth removed in late August.
Senior Luke Proxmire, who was the Warriors' No. 3 runner last year, also recently had his wisdom teeth taken out.
"Our fifth spot is what needs to be filled," said Loren Hughes, who co-coaches the boys and girls program with Nathan Hughes. "If we can work that out, we've got a decent shot at qualifying for the regional."
Sophomore Noah Mallory also returns after taking 95th (19:03.01) at regional last season.
Junior Joel Bertelsen, who is new to the program after previously playing for the soccer team, won the Division II-III race of the Westerville Classic on Aug. 31 at Westerville North in 18:56.33.
Freshmen Liam Bruce, Taylor Dittman and Jeff Baacke are running among the top seven. Rounding out the roster are sophomores Caleb Griffin, Mason Han and Matthew Houk.
Girls cross country team growing
After having just two runners a year ago, the girls cross country team has eight competitors.
In the Division II-III race of the Westerville Classic, junior Natalie Rohrig was second (23:30.07) among 13 entrants.
Senior Sarah Sharp and junior Emily Howard are returnees. Howard was 32nd (24:07.34) and Sharp placed 38th (25:00.77) at district last season.
Also looking to contribute are senior Hannah Francis, junior Alex Szana, sophomore Tori Wilde and freshmen Ava Lewis and Sarah Malony.
"The really exciting thing is that we have eight girls," Loren Hughes said. "We feel great about what the girls can accomplish as a team."