Matt Blevins and David St. Clair have developed a special friendship thanks in large part to playing a sport they love.
The seniors are key members of the Hilliard Davidson High School boys lacrosse team.Video •Watch an interview with Hilliard Davidson boys lacrosse players David ST. Clair and Matt Blevins.
Blevins and St. Clair, both midfielders, met after joining the Hilliard Youth Lacrosse Association while in fifth grade and first became teammates on the seventh-grade squad at Weaver Middle School. They also played together on a Resolute Lacrosse club team before becoming teammates at Davidson as freshmen.
"David and I have always clicked. We're just best friends," Blevins said. "We've played forever together and we're a dynamic duo."
Davidson extended its winning streak to six games with a 15-9 victory over Pickerington North on April 17. The Wildcats improved to 8-3 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Central Division with the win.
Through 10 games, St. Clair had 33 goals and three assists and Blevins had 13 goals and eight assists. Junior attacker A.J. VanVoorhis led the team in scoring with 42 points (25 goals, 17 assists).
Blevins and St. Clair share captain duties with senior defender Bosston Nolty and senior goalkeeper Archie West.
"We set a goal for our senior year and we're accomplishing some things that we thought we'd never accomplish," St. Clair said. "We just beat (Dublin) Coffman, which is a huge win for the program, a huge win for Davidson. We'd never beaten them since I've been here."
The Wildcats opened OCC-Central play by edging Coffman 13-12 on April 6 and defeated Gahanna (15-5 on April 11) and Pickerington Central (11-6 on April 13) in league contests. The win over Coffman was Davidson's first since 2011.
"We could have a run at state," Blevins said. "This is the best team I've ever seen us have and I think we can beat anybody. You already saw us beat Coffman. If we're clicking, we can play with any team in the state."
The Wildcats play host to Darby on Thursday, April 20. Their next league game is Monday, April 24, at Upper Arlington, the defending Division I state champion.
"We're doing a lot of firsts and, as coaches, we do have to recognize that, but we can't afford to drop an OCC game because we aren't focused," coach Adam Beasley said. "It probably starts in the locker room with us and it needs to go all the way down. We'll get there. We want to be an OCC-championship team. We have to outwork everybody else."
Davidson finished 7-13 overall and 1-6 in the OCC-Buckeye last season. St. Clair credits Beasley, who is in his first season as coach after serving as an assistant at Columbus Academy last year, for the turnaround.
"I was really happy with the hire," St. Clair said. "He's done a really good job disciplining us, similar to what coach (Brian) White does with the football team. He's whipping the lacrosse boys into shape."
Beasley, who also is a coach for Resolute Lacrosse, recalls watching Blevins and St. Clair compete at a young age and has followed their development.
"It wasn't the reason I came (to Davidson). I was going to come here regardless, but it's awesome coming here when you have two guys that care about Davidson that much," Beasley said.
Last season, Blevins was named first-team all-OCC-Buckeye and St. Clair was second-team all-league. Both were second-team all-region.
Blevins sprained his right ankle during practice April 12 and missed the game against Central. He was expected to return to the lineup this week.
While Blevins and St. Clair considered playing lacrosse together in college, they will be heading their separate ways after high school. Blevins has committed to play for the University of Detroit Mercy and St. Clair will play for Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
"It's like Hilliard," Blevins said of Detroit Mercy. "Everything seemed right. They're all tough kids. They're not like rich, stuck-up kids. They're all tough, hard-working kids and it just felt perfectly right."
"Seton Hill has a really good lacrosse program, really good academics and it was a really good fit for me," St. Clair said.
Baseball team out
to good start in OCC
Baseball coach Justin Swallie was pleased with his team's start in OCC-Central play.
The Wildcats were 8-4 overall and 5-1 in the league before playing Coffman on April 18.
Through 11 games, Andrew Steele was hitting .418 with nine runs scored and five stolen bases and Sam Monnin was batting .379 with nine RBI. Christian Sweet was hitting .333 with eight RBI and Jake Shirer was batting .324 with 12 runs and nine stolen bases.
On the mound, Carson Curnutte was 3-0.
Kyle Neimeister was 2-0 with two no-hitters, in a 12-0, five-inning win over Central Crossing on April 10 and a 17-0, five-inning win over Westland on April 17.
"We are off to a good start in league play and that was our goal going into the season," Swallie said. "We need to continue to find a way to manufacture runs and pitchers need to limit free bases and let our defense make plays. Our goal is always to get better on a daily basis and we need to make sure that we don't take steps back, but keep moving in the right direction as the season progresses."
Winning streak ends
for softball team
The softball team saw its nine-game winning streak end with a 3-1 loss to visiting Central Crossing on April 17.
The loss dropped the Wildcats to 13-2 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Central.
Through 14 games, Aubrey Rolon was hitting .500 with 27 hits and 19 runs, Morgan Coleman was batting .432 with 16 runs and 11 RBI and pitcher Erica Buchanan was hitting .426 with 13 RBI. Other key offensive contributors were Haley Goodburn with 18 RBI and 16 runs and Leah Belgar with 16 RBI and 14 runs.
In the circle, Buchanan was 13-1 with a 1.29 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 86 1/3 innings.
"I'm proud of the team's progress," coach Katie Speakman said before the winning streak was halted. "They're all selfless players and it doesn't matter who gets the credit on any given day. They really believe and rely on one another and the family atmosphere that has been created makes a big difference. They also have fun while they're playing, and that enjoyment of the game and enjoyment of one another pays off."
Girls lacrosse coach
The girls lacrosse team was 2-6 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Central before playing Pickerington North on April 18.
Davidson lost to host Pickerington Central 18-7 on April 13. Kelsey Rader and Sally Sell each scored two goals for the Wildcats.
"We're still learning and trying to figure out the best combinations of players to have on the field at the same time," coach Chad Smock said. "Every game has had some great moments, but we're having trouble putting together a complete game."
Nine senior student-athletes announced their college decisions during a ceremony April 12.
Erica Buchanan will play softball at Ohio Wesleyan, Justin English will play men's volleyball at Hiram, Haley Goodburn will play softball at Ohio Dominican, Madison Harsh will play women's golf at Capital, David Hoyle will play football at Otterbein, Isabel Jimenez will play women's volleyball at Capital, Jack Rubin will play men's golf at Ohio Dominican, Sienna Sullivan will play women's soccer and compete in track and field at Bluffton and Lauren Wehner will play women's lacrosse at Hartford.