In nearly 30 years of coaching softball and baseball, Brian Wamsley has seen several talented athletes.
However, he said one he coaches now stands above the rest.Video •Watch an interview with Westerville Central softball player Megan McMenemy.
Senior shortstop Megan McMenemy of the Westerville Central High School softball team is winding down a prep career that has seen her earn OCC-Cardinal Division Player of the Year and first-team all-district honors the past two seasons. She also was first-team all-state last season and second-team all-state as a sophomore.
McMenemy, an Ohio State signee, helped the Warhawks win OCC-Cardinal titles in each of the past three seasons.
"She's the best athlete I've (coached), male or female," said Wamsley, who is in his eighth season leading the Warhawks. "She has natural ability. She's a great student and just an all-around wonderful kid, and she's a leader. The girls respect her not only because of her play, but because she keeps them in the game."
McMenemy began her career at Central playing alongside her sister, Paige, who went on to pitch in college. During Megan's freshman year, she was named first-team all-league and second-team all-district while her sister was named OCC-Cardinal Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.
However, Megan never was in her sister's shadow. A left-handed hitter who hits for a high average and power as well as a strong defensive player, she caught the attention of collegiate coaches at a young age through travel ball and committed to the Buckeyes as a freshman.
She canceled a visit to Michigan after she committed to the Buckeyes. She signed with Ohio State in November.
"When I visited Ohio State that's what I wanted because I grew up a Buckeye fan and all I wanted in life was to play for the Buckeyes," she said. "I didn't really worry about Michigan because Ohio State is where I wanted to be."
Through 11 games this spring, Megan was hitting .528 with 13 RBI and had scored 16 runs. She's closing in on program records for career hits, home runs, RBI, runs and stolen bases.
Paige has two of the marks, as she finished with 153 hits and 97 RBI. Entering play April 15, Megan had 143 hits, 16 homers, 89 RBI, 136 runs and 52 steals.
Dara Toman holds the program record for homers (22), Perry Wallinger scored the most runs (144) and Andi Hayes leads in steals (58).
Paige also established program records for career strikeouts (765), strikeouts in a season (251 in 2013) and career wins (56). At the collegiate level, she was at Division I Akron for two years before transferring to Division II Ashland for her junior year.
While Megan continues to garner personal accolades, several team goals remain.
Central is seeking its first Division I district title after consecutive years of near misses.
Last season, the Warhawks lost to Marysville 8-4 in a district semifinal but finished with the most wins in program history, going 23-5 to surpass the previous mark of 22 set by the 2015 and 2007 teams.
Central lost to Olentangy Orange 3-1 in a district semifinal in Megan's sophomore season and fell to Gahanna 4-1 in a district final in her freshman season.
If the Warhawks can win a district title, Megan and her teammates will get to play at Ohio State in the regional tournament.
"We want to win another OCC title, that's the main goal that we're shooting for," she said. "Just like every other year, our goal is to try to make it to the Ohio State field so I can play on it before I get there."
The Warhawks, who are seeking their fourth consecutive league title, were 6-6 overall and 3-0 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Olentangy Liberty on April 19.
Central opened league play April 12 by rallying past visiting Westerville North 11-7. The Warhawks fell behind 5-0 in the first inning, but overcame the deficit behind home runs from Megan, Hannah Richardson and Avrey Schumacher.
Megan also made two impressive plays at shortstop to end North scoring threats.
"She feeds off that," Wamsley said. "She loves that. She works at it."
Central also defeated Orange 12-4 on April 13 and Olentangy 8-0 on April 17 in league games. Megan and Richardson each homered against the Braves.
Megan also played on the girls soccer team as a junior and senior and excels in the classroom. She has a 4.1 GPA and has been a member of the National Honor Society for two years.
After playing for the Ohio Lasers travel team for about six years, Megan joined the Beverly Bandits softball club in her freshman year, a move she said helped boost her career.
"I can't believe that it's almost here, but she'll do well at the next level," Wamsley said. "The good thing is she's excited to get to the next level, but she also wants that fourth straight OCC championship. She also has personal goals. She wants to be a three-time OCC Player of the Year and she wants to be a three-time all-state player."
Boys lacrosse team
Despite his team entering its game against North on April 18 at 1-8 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Buckeye, coach Stefan Schroeder said there has been improvement.
"The team's progress has been on the upswing," he said. "We let a couple early games slip through our fingers and have played some very tough competition that has forced us to get better but hasn't allowed our mistakes to go unnoticed. Right now our ultimate goal is to improve every single day and treat every game like it's the playoffs."
The Warhawks defeated Big Walnut 14-4 on April 13.
The baseball team has remained competitive despite entering its game against Teays Valley on April 18 at 6-8 overall.
The Warhawks were 2-5 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Liberty on April 19. Central defeated the visiting Patriots 3-1 on April 17.
"Despite our record, we are actually playing pretty good baseball," coach Jeff Keifer said.
"Every game we have lost has been by two runs or less. We simply have been on the wrong end of very close, competitive games against very good teams. The team could recite my postgame speech by now -- played really well, stay positive, keep grinding, our time will come. I'm completely confident our guys can make a midseason run and build momentum for the rest of the year."
Through 13 games, Jalen Arms was hitting .408, followed by Daniel Cellars (.361) and Evan Ingram (.326).
Six student-athletes announced their college decisions during a ceremony April 12.
Evan Davis will play baseball at Allegheny, Nick Finn will play football at Denison, Savannah Line will play women's volleyball and compete in track and field at Malone, Madi McCartney will compete in women's cross country and track and field at West Liberty, Hannah Richardson will play softball at Marietta and James Schneider will play football at Denison.