Tom Armstrong experienced quite a journey leading up to his senior season with the Westerville North High School baseball team.
Armstrong's family moved to Great Britain when he was 11 years old. In a country known for its love of soccer, he played for the national baseball program.Video •Watch an interview with Westerville North baseball player Tom Armstrong.
The right-hander returned to Westerville just before his sophomore year, then elbow surgery forced him to miss all of his junior season. This spring, he has made it back to the mound and is working to regain his old pitching form.
"I'm not quite all of the way back," Armstrong said. "I'm still working to get my mechanics down and get over the excitement of being back on the mound. I'm working to get that under control."
Entering the week, Armstrong was 1-2 with a 2.86 ERA, 13 strikeouts, 19 walks and three hit batters in 22 innings.
"Tom did a lot to get back and he's just a good, hard-working kid," said coach Sean Ring, whose team was 8-7 overall and 4-3 in the OCC-Buckeye Division after defeating Westerville South 1-0 on April 17. "He gets better every time he takes the mound."
Armstrong's mother, Donna Armstrong, is a native of Great Britain. They moved in 2009 to be with her family in Aston, about 125 miles northwest of London. His father, Gary Armstrong, also moved his construction company there.
Playing baseball was one of the first things that Tom started to do in his new home.
"I never played cricket except in like gym class, but I still played baseball," Armstrong said.
"I was on the national team when I was there from (ages) 11 to 15 and played on the U-16 and U-18 teams.
"It was a great opportunity (to play on the national team) and I had a great time. I was born here, but I'm half British, so I was proud to be representing the country. I was living there, so I was happy to do that. It's something I'll cherish all of my life."
As a sophomore at North, Armstrong split time between varsity and j.v. In fall 2015, he was at a baseball showcase when he injured his elbow on a routine play.
"I was playing first base when I fielded a bunt ... and threw (the ball) to third," he said. "I knew something was wrong right away. My arm didn't feel right.
"There was kind of like a pop or a click. There wasn't pain, but I couldn't feel these (pinky and ring) fingers (on my right hand). My arm felt strange and I wasn't able to control the ball."
On Oct. 23, 2015, Armstrong had Tommy John surgery, in which a tendon from the forearm, hamstring or foot is transplanted into the elbow of the throwing arm to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament. The procedure was performed by Dr. Tim Kremchek, who is the team doctor and chief orthopedic surgeon for the Cincinnati Reds.
"After the injury, I knew I wasn't going to play high school ball (as a junior)," Armstrong said.
"I did a lot of physical therapy to get back. I could play catch and do some light throwing, but I wasn't cleared to play again until after (last) season."
Armstrong played travel baseball last summer to help prepare for this season. He said he throws a fastball, change-up and curveball.
He hopes to get his mechanics back on track before going to play at Point Park University in Pittsburgh.
"It's great to be back," Armstrong said.
"I need to get my mechanics under control. Once that happens, I'll be all the way back."
lead softball team
Kirsten Georges and Michelle Brumfield were leading the softball team through 14 games.
The Warriors had lost five consecutive games and were 8-7 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Buckeye after falling to Olentangy Liberty 4-1 on April 17.
Through 14 games, Georges was hitting .444 with a .610 on-base percentage, 14 runs and four RBI, and Brumfield was batting .429 with a .612 on-base percentage, one home run, 10 RBI and 10 runs.
Kasyn Scarantine was batting .381 with five doubles, 11 RBI and 11 runs, and Leah Stamos was hitting .368 with 13 RBI and eight runs. Delaney Stephens was hitting .365 with four triples, nine RBI and 16 runs, and Mackenzie Smucker was batting .333 with four homers, four doubles, 12 RBI and nine runs.
Megan Zody was 5-4 with a 4.03 ERA, 24 strikeouts and 13 walks in 52 1/3 innings.
Boys lacrosse team
wins nine of first 11
The boys lacrosse team averaged 11.7 goals and surrendered 8.6 through 11 games.
North was 9-2 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Westerville Central on April 18.
The Warriors won seven consecutive games before losing to New Albany 13-4 on April 13 in league play. Tommy Bischel, Luke Fuller, Parker Hicks and Kendrick Rodgers all scored, and Richard Du had 12 saves.
In other league action, the Warriors defeated Big Walnut 9-4 on April 6 and South 17-3 on April 10.