As one of four captains for the Olentangy Liberty High School girls lacrosse team, senior Jordan Reineke has made it a priority to be an energizing presence for her teammates this spring.

The Patriots have followed her lead so far, winning four of their first five games, with their only loss coming 12-11 to Cincinnati Sycamore on April 7 after they trailed 12-5.

"Our team has so much passion for the game, and we all just have so much drive to do our best this season," Reineke said. "We have some specific goals and we all just have fun together. I wanted to be a key player for our team this year and be able to help my team as much as possible this year."

Liberty was 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Buckeye Division before playing Orange on April 19.

The Patriots' other captains are seniors Claire Buckey and Ali Tomsho and junior Mollie McCormack.

"It's been really fun watching (Reineke) grow as a player," coach Nicole Stines said. "Last year she was definitely one of our key midfielders, but this year I think she's leading that whole unit. She's done a great job of setting the pace for the midfielders and getting everyone pumped and excited, which has been really fun to watch. It was obvious when we made her captain that it was going to be a one of the best choices."

In an opening 20-2 win over Pickerington North on March 28, Reineke scored five goals.

"Honestly that kind of surprised me a little bit," she said. "I know I put in a lot of work in the offseason, but I didn't think it was going to pay off as much as it has been."

Reineke also scored three goals March 30 in a game against Worthington Kilbourne that was suspended because of bad weather and three more in a 13-5 victory over Pickerington Central on April 8.

"(We're working on) just cleaning up our passes and focusing more on the little things because if you focus on the little things it makes the whole dynamic function," Reineke said.

Working at a particular sport has been a common trait in Reineke's family.

While she has committed to play lacrosse for Findlay, her twin, Sidney Reineke, made the state girls tennis tournament last season and will continue her career in that sport at Bowling Green.

"We are just totally different people, but it works," Jordan said. "Us being so different, it helps us be closer as sisters. ... She's super athletic, but she's been more (into) individual sports. I'm horrible at tennis. She's really, really good."

Boys lacrosse team
starting to heat up

After opening with back-to-back losses, the boys lacrosse team had won seven of nine games before playing Orange on April 18.

The Patriots lost to DeSales 10-9 in overtime April 8 and fell to Upper Arlington 6-4 on April 10, but won their next three. Included was an 8-7 overtime win April 14 over Hudson, which was a Division I state semifinalist last spring and won seven of its first nine this season.

Liberty also beat Big Walnut 15-0 on April 12 and Westerville South 20-2 on April 13, beginning what it hopes is a defensive trend.

"Over the next few weeks, we want to see our defense give up less," coach Jason Godwin said. "We do well at times, but a few lapses lead to more goals against than what we want. We also want to see our offensive production be consistent. We haven't hit our full potential yet."

The Patriots were 7-4 overall and 3-0 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Orange.

Senior Logan Senhauser was leading the Patriots in face-offs won with 60 through 11 games, and junior goalkeeper Skyler Wahlund had 74 saves and a .520 save-percentage.

Senior midfielders Griffin Hughes (26 goals, 5 assists) and Johnny Wiseman (24 goals, 10 assists) have led the offense while a rebuilt attack led by senior Vincent Ramondelli (7 goals, 6 assists) and juniors John Paolo (14 goals, 4 assists) and Spencer Towne (14 goals, 7 assists) has found its footing.

"We're still looking for more to stand out," Godwin said. "Our attack unit is new this year as starters (and) they're beginning to find the importance of their roles."

Baseball squad
looks to hit stride

According to coach Ty Brenning, his team has "played some very good baseball" at times this spring.

After losing 3-1 to Westerville Central on April 17 and before playing the Warhawks again on April 19, the Patriots were 7-6 overall and 3-4 in the OCC-Buckeye.

Following a doubleheader split April 8 in which it lost to Marysville 7-6 but beat Medina 7-5, Liberty won three of its next four, with the loss coming to Westerville North 2-0 on April 12.

"We need to eliminate big innings when on defense by reducing errors, walks and mental mistakes," Brenning said. "Offensively we need to be more efficient by increasing our quality at-bats and improving on the bases."

Seniors Hunter Voorhees and Preston Stanley and junior Mitch Milheim have led the pitching staff. Voorhees won his first three decisions.

Milheim, sophomore Mitchell Okuley (RF) and junior Carson Comer (3B) have been among the top hitters. Okuley has been batting second, with Comer hitting third and Milheim usually fifth.

On April 13 in a 5-3 win over Lancaster, the Patriots tied it at 3 in the fifth and got a two-run single by Brennan Rowe in the sixth.

Liberty athletes
pick colleges

Sixteen Liberty athletes announced their college decisions during the spring signing period that began earlier this month.

In football, Nick Azusenis will play for Capital, Joshua Fisher will play for Rose-Hulman and Jack Merritt will play for Baldwin Wallace.

Also from fall sports, Nick Hauser will play men's soccer for Wilmington, Oliver Person will play men's soccer at Alderson Broaddus and Emma Campbell will play women's soccer at Rochester.

Among winter sports athletes, Katie Harrop will play women's basketball for Capital, Brakan Mead will wrestle for Ohio State and Adi Tamarapoo will wrestle at Otterbein.

In spring sports, James Loftus will play men's volleyball for Limestone, Brennan Walentschak will play men's volleyball for Hiram, Samantha Silber will compete in women's track and field for South Carolina, Dylan Comella will play men's lacrosse at Capital and Thomas Fitzgerald will play men's lacrosse for Alma. In women's lacrosse, in addition to Jordan Reineke, Ellie Corder will play for North Greenville.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek