Coming off a season in which it won a league championship and played for a Division III district title, the Worthington Christian High School girls soccer team has the firepower to duplicate and possibly surpass those accomplishments.
The Warriors have seven seniors and a pair of juniors who were among the team's top scorers a year ago.
"This is a team like last year that has good chemistry and good leadership," second-year coach Steve Raikes said. "We're fighting a few injuries, but if I can ever get my full roster out there, we'll hopefully build on what we were last year."
Worthington Christian opened Aug. 18 by tying Westerville South at 2 and then beat Thomas Worthington 3-1 on Aug. 22 and London 7-0 in its MSL-Ohio Division opener Aug. 24 before falling to Grandview 2-1 in a league game Aug. 30. The Warriors were 2-1-2 overall after tying Columbus School for Girls at 2 on Sept. 2.
The Warriors won the MSL-Ohio at 4-0-1 last season, but the league has increased from six to eight teams this year.
The top returnees are seniors Grace Cain (midfielder), Ellie Bowers (goalkeeper) and Ellie Myers (defender) and juniors Grace Todd (forward) and Alanna Raikes (midfielder).
Last year, Todd had 22 goals and 14 assists and Alanna Raikes had 13 goals and 13 assists as both made first-team all-league.
Cain and Bowers were second-team all-league and Myers made honorable mention.
The other seniors are Gabby Cain (forward), Jennifer Davis (midfielder), Madi Jones (defender) and Emma Kasich (midfielder).
Also on the team are juniors Caroline Lawrence (defender), Tara Leneghan (defender), Hailey Mast (midfielder) and Kate Tomallo (defender), sophomores Lillia Bishop (midfielder), Mianna Hartings (defender) and Eliana Styer (midfielder) and freshman Riley Myers (forward).
Volleyball team hopes
to be better prepared
Coming off a season in which it went 16-7 overall but lost in the first round of the Division III district tournament, the girls volleyball team competed in a summer league at Ohio Dominican University and played what second-year coach Lorraine Smith considered a difficult scrimmage schedule.
"My whole philosophy was that I wanted us to (face) bigger and harder (opponents) so that when we got into the regular season, we already have seen some hard battles," Smith said. "It's paid off."
The Warriors won three of their first four matches, including a 23-25, 24-26, 25-21, 25-13, 15-13 win over Licking Heights in their season opener Aug. 19 and a 25-11, 25-9, 25-10 win over Grandview in their MSL-Ohio opener Aug. 31.
Then on Sept. 2, Worthington Christian won three matches to capture the title in its Warrior Invitational. The Warriors beat Shekinah Christian 25-20, 25-20 to win the title and improve to 6-1 overall.
The top returnees from last season when the Warriors were runners-up in the league at 10-2 behind London (12-0) are seniors Alex Evans (libero), Emma Linehan (middle hitter), Emma McIntosh (setter) and Avery Thompson (outside hitter).
The other seniors are Jenna Kuts (utility) and Jenna Lake (right-side hitter).
Junior CeCi Dalton is the other setter in a 6-2 offense, while sophomores Jenna Kray (middle hitter) and Maddie Patrick (outside hitter) are taking on key roles.
Also on the roster are juniors Betsy Cunningham (def-ensive specialist), Rachael Smith (right-side hitter) and Cassady Wolfinger (defensive specialist).
Zody happy to impact
cross country team
After heading the track and field program the last three years, Rod Zody has added coaching the boys and girls cross country teams to his resume this fall.
He took over for Loren and Nathan Hughes, who headed the cross country program the past seven seasons.
"It's a new experience for them running with me," Zody said. "The Hughes had it for a long time and did a nice job. Every day is a new experience. It gives me a chance to coach the whole (running) program."
The boys team is led by senior Jake Bertelsen, who was a Division III regional qualifier last season. The other regional qualifier last season, Jonathan Davis, graduated.
Bertelsen finished third (17 minutes, 1.51 seconds) in the Baron Blast on Aug. 26 as the Warriors placed fourth (131) of 11 teams behind champion and host Buckeye Valley (51).
Senior Peter Mallory, juniors Noah Denorme, Nathan Vallangeon and Taylor Vallangeon, sophomores Turner Burns, Harrison Godorhavy, Alex Harrison and Peter Tsibouris and freshmen Joshua Jeyandran, Donnie Kahaian, Mackay Lykens, Caleb Postlewait and Korey Rees also are in the program.
Taylor Vallangeon was the Warriors' No. 2 runner in the Baron Blast, finishing sixth (17:14.53).
The girls team has five runners and finished last (253) in the nine-team Baron Blast behind champion Buckeye Valley (54).
Junior Shantel Cox has returned as the team's No. 1 runner. The other runners are junior Hannah Smilges and sophomores Reagan Bowen, Joy Pitzer and Katherine Todd.
Football team out to
avenge loss to Saints
The football team will try to avenge a 41-14 loss to New Philadelphia Tuscarawas Central Catholic last season when it plays host to the Saints on Friday, Sept. 8.
The Warriors lost to Galion Northmor 40-14 on Sept. 1 to drop to 0-2. They opened with a 53-14 loss to Cardington on Aug. 25.
Central Catholic opened with a 26-13 loss to Greensburg (Pennsylvania) Central Catholic on Aug. 25 and fell to 0-2 with a 34-0 loss to Weirton (West Virginia) Madonna on Sept. 2.
In the Saints' opener, sophomore quarterback and defensive back Alex Price (5-foot-10, 150 pounds) threw one touchdown to his brother, senior Nathan Price (WR/DB, 5-11, 155), who also returned an interception 65 yards for a score.
Alex Price had an interception as well.
Aug. 26 -- Baron Blast at Buckeye Valley
Sept. 2 -- Westerville North Classic
Sept. 9 -- McGowan Invitational at Watkins Memorial
Sept. 16 -- Otterbein Invitational
Sept. 23 -- Bob Reall Invitational at Lancaster
Oct. 7 -- Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas Worthington
Oct. 14 -- MSL-Ohio meet at London
Aug. 18 -- at Westerville South
Aug. 22 -- at Thomas Worthington
*Aug. 24 -- vs. London
*Aug. 30 -- at Grandview
Sept. 2 -- vs. Columbus School for Girls
*Sept. 6 -- vs. Columbus Academy
Sept. 9 -- vs. Delaware
*Sept. 11 -- vs. Whitehall
*Sept. 13 -- at Wellington
*Sept. 20 -- at Bexley
Sept. 23 -- vs. Ready
Sept. 26 -- vs. Johnstown
Sept. 30 -- at Big Walnut
Oct. 3 -- at Fairbanks
*Oct. 7 -- vs. Zanesville Rosecrans
Oct. 12 -- vs. Hartley
Aug. 19 -- at Licking Heights
Aug. 22 -- at Columbus School for Girls
Aug. 26 -- at Berne Union
*Aug. 31 -- vs. Grandview
Sept. 2 -- Warrior Invitational at home
*Sept. 5 -- at Columbus Academy
Sept. 11 -- vs. Centerburg
*Sept. 12 -- vs. Bexley
*Sept. 14 -- at Whitehall
*Sept. 19 -- at London
Sept. 21 -- vs. Fairfield Christian
*Sept. 26 -- at Grandview
*Sept. 28 -- vs. Columbus Academy
Sept. 30 -- vs. Howard East Knox
*Oct. 5 -- at Bexley
*Oct. 7 -- vs. Whitehall
*Oct. 10 -- at London
Below are the coming schedules for the Worthington Christian boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer and girls tennis teams:
Sept. 9 -- Worthington Christian Invitational at Turnberrry
Sept. 12 -- St. Charles B at Pinnacle
Sept. 7 -- Bexley at Blackhawk
Sept. 9 -- At Dayton Christian
Sept. 12 -- Home vs. Watterson
*Sept. 7 -- Home vs. Bexley
Sept. 9 -- At Big Walnut
Sept. 11 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington
*Sept. 12 -- At Whitehall