Now that the school year is over and summer is upon us, it's time to announce our Athletes of the Year for the spring season. Here are the honorees:Cael Baker
During Baker's prep career, Gahanna made the Division I state tournament in 2014, reached a district final in 2015 and was a regional runner-up each of the last two seasons.
The Lions, who went a combined 80-35 during his career and set the program record for wins in a season by going 26-4 in 2016, wouldn't have achieved nearly as much success without this senior catcher.
This spring, Baker was named state Player of the Year for the second consecutive season as well as ThisWeek Athlete of the Year for baseball for the second year in a row after hitting .517 with four home runs and 23 RBI.
A University of Cincinnati commit, Baker went 8-for-8 with three home runs during the Lions' final two district tournament games and then had four hits during their two regional games, as Gahanna finished 17-8.
Baker finished his prep career with a program-record 18 home runs, 124 RBI, 89 walks and a .420 average.
"He hits it square," coach Mike Shade said. "He and (University of Kentucky junior) Evan White are the best hitters I've ever coached. They're just so competitive."Brad Brinkerhoff
Brinkerhoff won every major award in his sport this season.
The 6-foot-5 senior outside hitter for Hilliard Darby was named Player of the Year in the state and East Region in Division I, and in the OCC-Cardinal Division, as the Panthers reached the state final before losing to Cleveland St. Ignatius 25-18, 26-24, 25-19. They finished 25-5 overall and went 12-0 in the league.
Darby won its 18th consecutive league championship and advanced to state for the 12th season in a row.
"Brad had a great, great season, but unfortunately, we couldn't finish the season the way we would have liked to," coach Bryan Webb said. "But he is an extremely hard worker and, as a three-year starter, he has given a lot to this program and meant a lot to this program.
"He was very good when he began his high school career and it has been fun to watch him develop and watch those around him develop. He played a big role at opposite hitter as a sophomore when we won the state championship. He will be missed."
As a junior, Brinkerhoff was named second-team all-league and honorable mention all-region.Robert Cash
The sophomore for New Albany went 25-3, finished fourth in singles in the Division I state tournament and led the Eagles to a historic season.
Cash played first singles most of this season for the Eagles, who went 15-3 overall and lost to Hunting Valley University School 3-0 in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division I state final, the program's best finish in that tournament.
Cash was 10-2 in the postseason, winning sectional and district championships before going 2-2 at state, losing to Hilliard Bradley's Mitchell Thai by default in the third-place match.
As a freshman, Cash and classmate Nathan Jose finished third at state in doubles.
New Albany went 5-0 in the OCC-Capital to win its 12th consecutive league championship.
"Nobody is better under pressure than Robert. He embraces every challenge. No situation is too big for him," coach Marc Thomas said. "He is one of the best players I've ever coached, but what he brings in terms of leadership even as a sophomore is just as important as what he brings to us on the court. He will take big steps going forward."Jack Dolan
The Upper Arlington senior attacker had 59 goals and 47 assists and picked up 62 ground balls, all team highs, to lead the Golden Bears to a Division I state semifinal and a share of the OCC-Central championship.
Dolan, a Jacksonville University commit who had 53 goals as a junior, was named first-team all-league, all-region and all-state as well as an All-American. He also was named league and region Player of the Year, and his 106 points this season rank third in program history.
UA went 20-3 overall, losing to Cincinnati Moeller 10-9 in a state semifinal, and 6-1 in the league to tie Dublin Coffman and Hilliard Davidson for first place. The Bears were seeking their second consecutive state championship and 17th in program history.
"Jack has the 'it' factor that you can't coach when it comes to playing offense," coach Kyle Olson said. "His field vision and ability to be creative make him incredibly difficult to cover."
Dolan also played hockey for UA and was named ThisWeek hockey Athlete of the Year and state Player of the Year last season after recording 49 goals and 29 assists.Lonzell Feagin
BOYS TRACK & FIELD
The Canal Winchester senior won Division I state championships in the 100 and 400 meters, was state runner-up in the 200 and placed eighth in the long jump to singlehandedly put the Indians in third place at the state meet.
This season, Feagin went undefeated in the 100, lost only once in the 400 and won 12 combined titles in the OCC-Capital, district, regional and state meets.
At state, the University of Pittsburgh signee ran the 100 in 10.68 seconds, the 400 in 47.31 and the 200 in 21.56 and went 22 feet, 9 inches in the long jump to give Canal Winchester 29 points, behind Thomas Worthington (36) and Gahanna (31).
His only losses in the 200 were to state champion Travis Marx of Reynoldsburg.
Feagin's state championships were the fourth and fifth in program history, and the first since Ty Watson won the Class A long jump title in 1985.
"Scoring 38 points at a regional meet and 29 points at a state meet is unheard of," coach Kurtis Robinson said. "His best quality is humility. He is always so humble. I've never seen him boast or gloat. He has always let his feet do his talking for him."Emily Gant
The Central Crossing junior right-hander came into her own in the circle and at the plate this season.
Gant went 18-3 with 287 strikeouts, 11 walks and a 0.24 ERA in 144 2/3 innings and led the Comets in batting average (.588), RBI (25), home runs (3), triples (4) and doubles (10) in addition to scoring 17 runs.
The Boston University recruit was named first-team all-state and district Player of the Year in Division I as well as OCC-Central Player of the Year.
"Emily is a very good athlete and she is committed to the process of getting better," said coach Rona Dorsey, whose team finished 18-3 overall after losing to Lancaster 2-0 in 12 innings in a district semifinal. "She wanted to be a better pitcher, so she played a higher level of travel ball (last summer) and worked hard to make herself better."
Led by Gant, the Comets went 9-1 in the OCC-Central to hold off runner-up Hilliard Davidson (8-2) for their first league championship since winning back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012.
As a sophomore, Gant hit .422 and was 13-8 with a 2.69 ERA, 231 strikeouts and 30 walks in 137 innings.Olivia Schildmeyer
The Upper Arlington senior midfielder had 50 goals and 28 assists to lead the Golden Bears in points (78) as they won their third consecutive Division I state championship.
Schildmeyer earned first-team all-league, all-region and all-state honors for the third consecutive year and finished her prep career with 125 goals and 54 assists.
UA went 19-2 overall, defeating Massillon Jackson 15-6 in the state final, and 6-0 in the OCC-Central. The Bears, who have won 56 consecutive games against in-state competition, outscored five postseason opponents 97-21.
Schildmeyer plans to attend the University of Virginia, but is unsure whether she will play lacrosse.
"She is an unselfish player who makes those around her better," coach Wendy Pinta said. "She is tenacious on attack, defense and in the midfield with explosive speed, deceptive stick work and a quick first step. She has an incredible (lacrosse) IQ and can find space (and) slip into it very quickly, whether it's off a pick-and-roll on the attacking end or to jam a cutter or the ball carrier on defense. ... She will be an extremely difficult player to replace."Abby Steiner
GIRLS TRACK & FIELD
Despite undergoing surgery last August to repair a torn right ACL, Steiner didn't lose a step this spring for Dublin Coffman.
A University of Kentucky commit in track and soccer, the junior has earned seven Division I state titles, including five in individual events, and has been named the ThisWeek Athlete of the Year for girls track for the second year in a row.
At this year's state meet, Steiner won her third championship in the 200 meters in a state-record 23.56 seconds, won her second consecutive title in the 100 and anchored the 800 relay to its second championship in a row.
Her time of 11.59 seconds in the 100 during the state preliminaries tied the state record set by Brookhaven's Khalilah Carpenter in 2000.
"Abby had a great spring," coach Greg King said. "Repeating as a champion is always tough because everyone is focused on you. Tying the 100 record and setting the 200 record, not to mention another come-from-behind win in the (800 relay) helps to solidify her place among the greatest sprinters in Ohio history, with one more season to go."