After guiding the Westerville South High School boys soccer team to a Division I district title last fall, Wynleux Henderson is hoping to bring a spark to the girls lacrosse program as its new coach.

Henderson replaced Brad Shaffer, who stepped down after one season in which the Wildcats finished 0-18 overall and 0-7 in the OCC-Buckeye Division.

"The opportunity presented itself and I was more than happy to coach the team and try to establish some new standards and set some goals," Henderson said.

South earned its first win since 2016 by defeating Buckeye Valley 8-3 on March 24. Earlier in the day, the Wildcats lost to Pickerington Central 15-0.

"The win against Buckeye Valley is a testament to the changing culture and mindset of the girls lacrosse program at South," Henderson said. "It was great to see our players bounce back after two tough games against great opponents and finally reap the benefits of the hard work they've put in up until this point.

"We all understand that this win is a small accomplishment in the grand scheme of things, which motivates us to strive to improve on all of the little things throughout the year."

Junior Bella Pillow scored three goals and sophomore Jordan Pettway added two against Buckeye Valley. Both players will see time on the attack, in the midfield and on defense.

Freshman goalkeeper Nylenn Green had seven saves in the game.

South opened March 20 with a 15-1 loss to Delaware and begins league play April 11 against Westerville North.

In addition to Pettway and Pillow, returnees include seniors Francie Gordish (defender/midfielder) and Grazia Santos (goalie/attacker) and juniors Jaylen Berdin (midfielder/att-acker), Cindy Nguyen (midfielder/attacker) and Tuyen Quan (midfielder/attacker/def-ender).

Also back are sophomores Andrea Garcia (midfielder/att-acker), Ava Montemarano (midfielder/attacker) and Claudia Santino (attacker).

"The whole atmosphere and attitude of the team has changed," Gordish said. "We're more structured. Everything is so much better and together. Everyone is coordinated. We're overall improving everywhere."

Other players are senior Victoria Esparza (midfielder/attack-er), juniors Itzia Centeno (midfielder/attacker), Payton Glassco (goalie/attacker), Gabriella Pesce (midfielder/attacker), Stephanie Sheridan (midfielder/attacker) and Kaitlyn Shaner (defender) and freshmen Emily Huynh (midfielder), Sky Nguyen (defender/midfielder), Morgan Pillow (defender/midfielder), Sabrina Pesce (midfielder/def-ender) and Carizjah Wright (midfielder/attacker).

"It's a mentality change (and) it's a culture change because we're setting specific things to do before we practice, throughout practice and at the end of it," Henderson said. "I like where we're at. We have a lot of room to grow. The one good thing is not many people expect a lot out of our team other than the 22 players and the coaching staff, which is great."

Boys lacrosse coach sees progress

Under second-year coach Michael Spatafore, the boys lacrosse team is looking to improve on its 2-17 record from a season ago.

South went 0-7 in the OCC-Buckeye to finish eighth behind champion Olentangy Liberty (7-0).

"We're further along than we were last year," Spatafore said. "All my returning guys know what to expect. The defense right now is looking very good, which is nice."

The Wildcats opened March 23 with an 11-8 loss at Marys-ville. They begin league play April 5 against Olentangy.

Key returnees include seniors Jeffrey Daugherty (goalie) and Bron Toth (defender) and junior Ethan Hollern (midfielder).

Also back are seniors Henry Clareson (defender), Curtis Livingston (attacker) and Jack Whitney (defender), juniors Kahwan Thrweatt (midfielder/attacker), Adam Wartel (midfielder) and Bryce Wilson (midfielder) and sophomores Nathan Gibbs (attacker), Christian Mehlo (midfielder), Braden Mulick (midfielder) and Noah Raber (midfielder).

Also looking to contribute are seniors Jed Peren (midfielder) and Justin Sams (midfielder), sophomore Deacon Smith (midfielder) and freshmen Nathan Fitzgerald (midfielder), Kenton Flood (defen-der), Donovan Hunt (defender), Sam Swisher (attacker/midfielder), Jack Trimble (midfielder) and Andrew Ware (attacker/midfielder).

"There are definitely some winnable games on the schedule and there are some games that we were in last year, but with the numbers being at 17 guys when the fourth quarter came around we had no life left."

There are 22 players on the roster this season.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

Schedules

BOYS LACROSSE

March 23 -- at Marysville

March 28 -- vs. Beavercreek

March 31 -- at Hilliard Bradley

April 3 -- vs. Johnstown

*April 5 -- vs. Olentangy

*April 10 -- at Westerville North

*April 12 -- vs. Olentangy Liberty

*April 19 -- vs. New Albany

April 21 -- vs. Licking Valley

*April 24 -- at Olentangy Orange

April 26 -- vs. Buckeye Valley

April 28 -- at St. Charles

*May 1 -- at Westerville Central

*May 5 -- vs. Big Walnut

May 7 -- at Dublin Scioto

May 9 -at Jonathan Alder

May 11 -- vs. Gahanna

GIRLS LACROSSE

March 20 -- vs. Delaware

March 24 -- vs. Pickerington Central and Buckeye Valley

April 3 -- at Gahanna

*April 5 -- at Olentangy

April 9 -- vs. Centennial

*April 11 -- vs. Westerville North

*April 12 -- at Olentangy Liberty

*April 17 -- at Big Walnut

April 19 -- vs. Marysville

April 21 -- at Dayton Oakwood

*April 24 -- vs. Olentangy Orange

*April 26 -- at New Albany

April 28 -- vs. Wellington

*May 1 -- at Westerville Central

May 5 -- at Dayton Carroll

May 8 -- vs. Whetstone

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the South baseball, softball, boys tennis, track & field and boys volleyball teams:

BASEBALL

*April 3 -- Home vs. Olentangy

*April 4 -- At Olentangy

SOFTBALL

April 3 -- At Hilliard Darby

April 4 -- At Canal Winchester

BOYS TENNIS

April 3 -- Home vs. Pickerington North

April 4 -- Home vs. Gahanna

TRACK & FIELD

April 3 -- At Hilliard Davidson

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

*April 3 -- Home vs. Olentangy

*League contest