After Drew Sraver took over as coach of the Dublin Scioto High School boys lacrosse team five years ago, he attended a Davis Middle School game and one player stood out.
Goalkeeper Evan Hutras clearly was Davis' best player that season, according to Sraver, who sensed that Hutras would become a special player for the Irish.
That has proven to be the case. Hutras, a senior, had 193 saves in 21 games last season and was named first-team all-OCC-Ohio Division and third-team all-state and all-region in Division II. As a sophomore, he was honorable mention all-league.
Through eight games this season, Hutras had 88 saves and 42 ground balls, trailing only junior attacker Dakotah Marshall (54) on the team.
"He's the heart and soul of the team from what he does on the field as a goalie, taking shots, taking shots off the knee, off the shin, off the arms, putting his body in the way," Sraver said. "He's second on our team in ground balls, which is unheard of for a goalie to be coming out of the goal that much and making plays on the ground."
The Irish were 4-4 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Thomas Worthington on April 18.
With Hutras helping to lead the way last season, Scioto finished 16-5 overall, won the OCC-Ohio title at 6-0 and reached a Division II Central Region semifinal before losing to eventual state champion Worthington Kilbourne 14-4.
"Evan started as a freshman and was very good and he's just consistently gotten better every year," Sraver said.
Earlier this season, Sraver considered moving Hutras to a field position because of his talent and athleticism, but opted to keep him in goal because of his value in that position.
"I know he would love (to play a field position), but he said, 'I can't do that to the team. I have to be in the goal. That's the most important position. I'm going to put that on my shoulders and do what I can to help these guys win,' " Sraver said.
Scioto had a three-game winning streak end with a 10-4 loss at Granville on April 14.
The Irish opened league play with wins over Hilliard Bradley (6-3 on April 6) and Hilliard Darby (11-10 on April 11).
"We're still hoping for an OCC championship," Hutras said. "We've moved up to Division I for the state playoffs. Hopefully we can make a decent run, but the competition is a lot more competitive and at a higher level. We definitely want to win the OCC again."
Hutras' brother, Wills, also was a standout player during his career with the Irish. Last season, Wills, a 2016 graduate who is now playing for Denison University, set the program record for points in a season with 112 and was named OCC-Ohio Player of the Year as well as first-team all-state and all-region. According to Sraver, Wills, a midfielder, is the program's all-time leader in points with 298.
Wills closely follows the progress of his brother at Scioto and is not surprised by his continued development.
"Being a goalie is definitely not an easy thing to do at that level," Wills said. "(Scioto doesn't) have a lot of experience on defense, so he's having to step in front of a lot of shots that are closer ... and he's made a lot of saves that (many) goalies wouldn't make."
Evan is considering playing in college, including possibly joining his brother at Denison, but said he likely will attend Ohio State or Miami University, where he could end up playing for a club team. He has closely monitored his brother's first year in college.
"We talk a lot. I always text him or he texts me," said Evan, who was introduced to lacrosse as a fifth-grader in the Dublin Youth Athletics program, starting out as a midfielder before switching to goalie. "He's probably my best friend. He's paved the road for me because a lot of teachers would say, 'Are you Wills' brother?' They had a good experience with Wills and they were expecting a lot out of me, which helped push me to be the person I am today."
First-year baseball coach Ryan Longbrake is pleased with his team's progress, and called a 6-1 win at Coffman on April 14 a highlight of the season thus far.
Weston Talentino pitched the first four innings and earned the win against the Shamrocks, with Jake Schmidt pitching the final three innings to get the save.
Scioto was 4-8 overall and 1-3 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Worthington Kilbourne on April 19.
The Irish played two competitive league games against Darby, losing 4-0 on April 10 and 4-3 on April 12. Scioto led the rematch 3-0 before the Panthers scored four runs in the seventh inning to pull out the win.
Scioto lost to visiting Kilbourne 5-2 on April 17.
"That was a really tough loss, so to come back like we did (against Coffman) and play a full complete game was awesome to see," Longbrake said. "We're putting it all together. We've had a lot of games that we should have won and, at some point, we have to stop making excuses and turn those losses into wins."
Girls lacrosse coach
The girls lacrosse team is 2-5 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Cardinal entering its game at Kilbourne on Thursday, April 20.
"The team has been working hard changing both their offense and defense this season," first-year coach Sarah Zink said.
"We are a young team and we are working hard and improving every game."
Zink touted the play of backup goalie Kimberly Martinez, who has been filling in for Aubrey Webb, who has been sidelined with a hip injury.
Allie Vogel and Jessie Hartman have been key offensive players and Destiny Brown and Kylene Davis have led the defense, Zink said. Other key contributors have been Lizzy Howard and Janeli Torres.
Softball team getting
good pitching, defense
Softball coach Larry Howell said his team has gotten good pitching and has played solid defense in recent games.
The Irish were 5-4 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Kilbourne on April 18.
"We're playing solid defense and we had three good pitching outings last week by Alyssa (Jauregui) and Madison (Heasley)," Howell said. "The offense struggled to get some timely hits against Hilliard Davidson (a 6-1 loss April 10) and Hilliard Bradley (a 3-1 loss April 13), but also have to keep in perspective that on most days we are starting three freshmen and two sophomores.
"Overall, I'm pleased with the start and hoping we continue to grow as a team."
The Irish defeated Thomas 14-2 in five innings in a league game April 12.