New-found depth allowed a young Johnstown-Monroe High School boys lacrosse team to show its mettle in its season-opening game.

New-found depth allowed a young Johnstown-Monroe High School boys lacrosse team to show its mettle in its season-opening game.

The Johnnies trailed by five goals at halftime and came back to tie the score before the end of regulation only to fall 9-8 in overtime April 7 at Marysville.

"I really expected to have a long night, taking a group of young, inexperienced players (to face) a big Division I school like Marysville," said second-year coach Stephanie Alley, whose team played April 10 against Morrow Little Miami. "We started slow and were down 7-2 at half, but it was impressive the way we played in the second half. Of course we would have wanted to win, but we had a pretty great first game."

Alley said one of the biggest differences this season for the Johnnies is depth. They finished 3-11 overall last season with 15 players, but this spring the roster has grown to 21.

"We have six more players, which is always a positive because all of the running that we do on the field," said Alley, whose team will not compete in the postseason until 2016. "It's always good to have fresh legs out there. You don't have a lot of subs with 15 players, but that depth was important against Marysville."

Sophomore attacker Hunter Alley had five goals against the Monarchs and senior midfielder Steven Thiel scored twice. Senior midfielder Jake Taylor also scored and sophomore midfielder Isaia Jacob had four assists.

Senior midfielder Paul Michel was injured in the game after being hit in the throat by an opponent's stick. Michel, who is one of eight returning letterwinners, will be out indefinitely.

The other returning letterwinners are senior goalkeeper A.J. Napier, senior defender Kaleb Matoszkia, Thiel, Hunter Alley, Jacob, sophomore defender Jeff Nogaj and sophomore midfielder Tyler Sapp.

"Just like last year, fundamentals will be important," coach Alley said. "We had to shovel off the field to get ready for the first practice of the season and we have worked hard to get where we are now, but we still have to get better."

Rounding out the roster are seniors Marcus Nogaj (midfielder), Bryce Sinningson (midfielder/goalie) and Laura Wall (midfielder), juniors Alex Catalogna (defender), Dustin Igle (midfielder) and Aaron McNabb (defender), sophomores Pace Branson (defender) and Brandon Siegfried (midfielder) and freshmen Nick Baldwin (midfielder), Steven Ngo (midfielder), Lee Queen (midfielder) and Hunter Wells (midfielder).

Softball teamwaiting out weather

Softball coach Steve Smith said his team was suffering through a rain-filled stretch to start the season.

The Johnnies had played only three games heading into their contests April 10 against Licking Valley and a doubleheader April 11 at Mansfield Madison.

"We're just not getting any games because of the weather, just like last year," Smith said. "Hopefully it will dry up and we can get some games in. It makes things tough."

Johnstown lost its opener to Northridge 10-4 on March 30 before defeating Newark Catholic 8-3 on April 1.

The Johnnies improved to 2-1 overall and in the LCL by defeating Watkins Memorial 13-7 on April 6.

Winning pitcher Maddi Lusk struck out eight with five walks and had a triple, double and three RBI. Sydney Stefanick had a double, single and RBI, and Jordan Dingess added two singles to drive in three.

"Maddi really has been making me look like a genius," Smith said. "She always gets on base, so I moved her to the lead-off spot and she has been doing great."

Girls track teamwins opener at Utica

Elizabeth Blenk won both hurdles events and was a member of the runner-up 800-meter relay, leading the girls track and field team to the title in the season-opening Utica Invitational on April 4.

The Johnnies won the 13-team meet with 129 points, finishing ahead of runner-up Loudonville (99).

Blenk won the 100 hurdles (17.5 seconds) and 300 hurdles (54.0) and joined Emily Nolan, Olivia McGee and Abi LaRoche on the second-place 800 relay (2:01).

McGee, Erica Cox, Alexis Hercenberg and Grace Mast won the 3,200 relay (11:49). Mast won the 800 (2:39.5) and was second in the 1,600 (6:08), and Hercenberg won the 3,200 (13:34) and was third in the 1,600 (6:22).

Alaina Morrison was second in the pole vault (6 feet, 6 inches) and LaRoche was third in the 200 (27.4).

The boys finished eighth (33) of 12 teams behind champion Lakewood (132.5). Josiah Annis won the pole vault (12-0) and was third in the 110 hurdles (17.4).

Baseball team dropsfirst four games

The baseball team had lost its first four games heading into contests with Licking Valley on April 10 and Groveport and Richmond Edison on April 11.

The Johnnies dropped a doubleheader to Big Walnut on April 4. Dalton Hastings took the loss in an 8-0 setback in the first game and Cody Rayburn took the loss in a 7-0 setback in the second game.

Johnstown was 0-2 in the LCL entering its game April 6 against Watkins Memorial. The teams were tied at 3 after seven innings when the game was suspended because of darkness. The game will be concluded before the second-round meeting April 27 at Johnstown.