With the return of 21 letterwinners, including seven starters, the Thomas Worthington High School girls lacrosse team is seeking to improve on last season, when it went 17-4 and reached the Division I South/Central Region final.
"We have a lot of returning players with high expectations," third-year coach Scott Hamilton said. "We went from 5-12 (in 2015) to 17-4 (last year) and we have a lot of experience and leadership."
Among the returnees are three all-state performers in seniors Addison Hamilton (attacker), Erin Baumann (midfielder) and Jenna Rao (attacker).
Hamilton, the coach's daughter, was named first-team all-state a year ago as well as first-team all-district and all-OCC-Central Division. Baumann and Rao both were second-team all-state, first-team all-district and second-team all-league.
The Cardinals went 3-1 in the OCC-Central last year to place second behind Upper Arlington (4-0) and lost to UA 15-5 in the regional final. This season, the Cardinals are competing in the OCC-Cardinal with Delaware, Dublin Jerome, Dublin Scioto, Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Darby and Kilbourne.
Thomas was 4-1 overall before playing UA on April 4. The Cardinals, who open league play Thursday, April 6, at Delaware, lost to DeSales 8-7 in their season opener March 18 before winning their next four games by a combined score of 80-14.
The Cardinals, who returned all of their offensive starters from last season, beat Dublin Scioto 24-3 on March 23, Olentangy 15-7 on March 28, Hilliard Bradley 20-2 on March 30 and Cincinnati Ursuline Academy 21-2 on April 1.
"Addie should be one of the top attackers in the state," coach Hamilton said. "She has excellent field vision for finding open teammates and has the ability to score. She has committed to play at the United States Naval Academy.
"Jenna has an excellent first step and a knack for finding the goal and she also has great field vision. Erin is athletic and quick with great stick skills and ability."
Thomas lost three players from its defense in 2016 graduates Kelli Hill (goalkeeper) and Olivia Capuano (defender) and junior Paige Lampman (defender), who did not return to the team.
Hill was first-team all-league last season.
Other returnees are seniors Elle Coe (defender), Riley Godard (attacker) and Dejah Roberts (defender), juniors Julia Geiger (midfielder) and Maggie Walter (attacker) and sophomores Tori Banks (midfielder) and Rachel Rinaldi (midfielder).
Geiger was special mention all-league and Walter was honorable mention all-league last season.
Junior Timi Cole has replaced Hill in goal.
Rounding out the roster are seniors Emma Anderson (attacker), Caroline Gnezda (defender), Abbie Miller (attacker) and Hannah Ong (midfielder), junior Elaine Miller (attacker) and sophomore Reilly Ford (defender).
boys lacrosse team
The boys lacrosse team has struggled thus far because of its inexperience, but it is hoping to show improvement over the course of the season.
The Cardinals are 0-5 overall and have been outscored 81-17.
"We graduated 17 players last year and are depending on our younger guys to step into leadership roles immediately," second-year coach Derek Lichtfuss said. "We lost over 75 percent of our offensive production, but we have a talented group of young players who led our j.v. to a very successful year last year. We intentionally kept that group mostly intact to build cohesion."
Last season, Thomas finished 8-12 overall and 1-6 in the OCC-Buckeye and lost to Jerome 16-3 in the second round of the Division I Central Region tournament. The Cardinals are in the OCC-Cardinal this season with Kilbourne, Bradley, Darby, Delaware, Jerome and Scioto and open league play Thursday, April 6, at home against Delaware.
Thomas opened March 20 with an 11-5 loss to Hilliard Davidson. That was followed by losses to St. Charles (10-5 on March 22), Cincinnati St. Xavier (24-1 on March 25), UA (18-4 on March 28) and Olentangy (18-2 on March 31).
The Cardinals have four returning starters in seniors Will Passifume (midfielder) and Blake Ryan (defender), junior Max Nordquist (midfielder) and sophomore Evan Parrott (attacker/midfielder).
Other returning letterwinners are seniors Brian Bush (long-stick midfielder), Leshun Gunn (midfielder), Kyle McClure (midfielder) and Ryan Squires (midfielder), juniors Jake Chizever (long-stick midfielder), Basil Harvey (long-stick midfielder), Dekaider Jackson (midfielder) and John Kallas (defender) and sophomore Bennett Fischbach (midfielder).
Daniel Maxwell (midfielder), Andrew Maynard (attacker/midfielder), Alec Roderer (midfielder), Kazeem Saheeb (midfielder) and Isaac Short (goalkeeper) round out the senior class.
Completing the roster are juniors Tim Berridge (attacker), Kyle Coburn (midfielder), Louis Dykstra (attacker), Troy Hootman (attacker), Parker Jones (defender), Taylor Weinsz (midfielder) and Brendan Zurovchak (attacker) and sophomores Michael Guzman (defender), Tanner Hunt (midfielder) and Ryan Willis (midfielder/goalie).
Boys tennis team
has eight returnees
First-year boys tennis coach Andrew Sinclair has four players who competed in the Division I postseason last year.
Those returnees are senior Luke Bobay and sophomores Kai Britz, Stephen Jackman and Aaron Zeller. Also back are senior Myung Ho Chung, juniors Caspian Dritz and Jun-Sung Park and sophomore Alexander King.
Freshman Deep Gupta also has earned playing time thus far.
"Kai Britz plays great defense, has good foot speed and is able to make real time mental adjustments," said Sinclair, who took over for Bernie Sleshi after his only season as coach. "We have great team spirit and camaraderie. The boys are mutually supporting each other and that gives them more self-confidence."
The Cardinals were 2-2 overall entering the week. They defeated Centennial 5-0 in the season opener March 24, lost to Wellington 5-0 on March 28 and defeated Olentangy Liberty 3-2 on March 29 before losing to Hilliard Bradley 5-0 in their OCC-Cardinal opener March 30.
Last season, Thomas finished 7-7 overall and 2-4 in the OCC-Central.
The Cardinals lost two district qualifiers to graduation in Chris Chia and Brian Waibl-Polania, who finished fourth in doubles in the sectional at Pickerington Central before losing in the first round at district.
The Cardinals also lost junior Nick Farrell, whose family moved out of state.
"We've got many sophomores and a few freshmen (in the program) who are strong players, and that means you better beat us this year," Sinclair said. "We have two years to continually get better."
March 20 -- at Hilliard Davidson
March 22 -- vs. St. Charles
March 25 -- at Cincinnati St. Xavier
March 28 -- vs. Upper Arlington
March 31 -- vs. Olentangy
*April 6 -- vs. Delaware
April 8 -- vs. New Albany
*April 10 -- at Hilliard Bradley
*April 13 -- vs. Dublin Jerome
*April 18 -- vs. Dublin Scioto
April 20 -- vs. Westerville Central
April 22 -- at Hudson Western Reserve Academy
*April 27 -- vs. Hilliard Darby
April 29 -- vs. Loveland
*May 2 -- at Kilbourne
May 8 -- at Dublin Coffman
March 18 -- vs. DeSales
*March 23 -- at Dublin Scioto
March 28 -- at Olentangy
*March 30 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley
April 1 -- at Cincinnati Ursuline Academy
April 4 -- vs. Upper Arlington
*April 6 -- at Delaware
April 17 -- at Columbus Academy
April 22 -- Medina and Shaker Heights in Hannigan-Galipault Tournament at home
*April 27 -- at Hilliard Darby
April 29 -- at Cincinnati Sycamore
*May 1 -- vs. Kilbourne
May 4 -- vs. Olentangy Orange
May 5 -- vs. Dublin Coffman
*May 11 -- at Dublin Jerome
May 13 -- vs. Massillon Jackson
March 24 -- vs. Centennial
March 28 -- vs. Wellington
March 29 -- vs. Olentangy Liberty
*March 30 -- at Hilliard Bradley
April 3 -- vs. Olentangy Orange
*April 4 -- vs. Dublin Jerome
*April 6 -- vs. Delaware
April 7 -- at Upper Arlington B
*April 13 -- vs. Dublin Scioto
April 17 -- at Columbus Academy
*April 18 -- at Hilliard Darby
April 19 -- at Gahanna
*April 20 -- vs. Kilbourne
April 22 -- Hilliard Davidson Doubles Classic
April 24 -- vs. DeSales
April 25 -- vs. Columbus West
April 28 -- vs. Marysville
April 29 -- Worthington Cup at home and at Kilbourne
May 9 -- at Pickerington Central
Below are the coming schedules for the Thomas baseball, softball, track & field and boys volleyball teams:
*April 7 -- At Dublin Jerome
*April 10 -- At Delaware
*April 12 -- Home vs. Delaware
*April 6 -- At Delaware
April 11 -- Home vs. Buckeye Valley
*April 12 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto
TRACK & FIELD
April 8 -- Stingel Invitational at Pickerington North
*April 6 -- At Delaware
*April 11 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto