Despite starting the sport later than many athletes, senior Alex Rebmann has emerged as a leader for the Westerville South High School boys lacrosse team.
Rebmann didn't begin playing lacrosse until ninth grade and credits friend and teammate Victor Runyan for persuading him to join the program.Video •Watch an interview with Westerville South boys lacrosse player Alex Rebmann.
"I have no regrets, I'm going to college for it," Rebmann said. "I play every day in the summer. ... It's all about work."
Rebmann, who is an attacker and midfielder, has played at the varsity level all four years and has been a key part of the transition for first-year coach Michael Spatafore. He had six goals and two assists through eight games.
"Alex is doing pretty well," Spatafore said. "He's molded into his leadership role pretty well and the guys really respond to him. He's got some things he needs to work on, but he will get there, and the quicker he gets (there) the quicker more guys will follow him."
South went 4-47 in Rebmann's first three years, but when Spatafore took over before this season, Rebmann noticed a significant change.
"We're putting in a lot of time with the coaches," Rebmann said. "We have a new culture that we want to win and we want to go out and compete every time. ... These coaches are wonderful. I wish I could stay for another year."
Rebmann shares captain duties with Jeffrey Daugherty, Carter Henry and Bron Toth.
Rebmann's commitment to the sport helped earn him the chance to play at the next level. He has committed to Walsh University in North Canton.
"Walsh is close to home," Rebmann said. "I wanted to be around family."
The Wildcats were 1-7 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Buckeye Division before playing Big Walnut on April 18.
South defeated Newark 17-1 on March 31 for Spatafore's first win.
"It felt great," he said. "I'm hopeful and pretty sure it won't be our last one this year. We're getting there."
The Wildcats were competitive in losses to Pickerington North (7-1 on March 21), Bexley (12-6 on April 3) and Hilliard Bradley (11-6 on April 15).
"We play a really good quarter and then we play a good half," Spatafore said. "We have to put a full game together."
South led Bradley 4-2 before the Jaguars scored three goals in the final two minutes of the second quarter to take a 5-4 lead into halftime. Bradley pulled away in the second half.
Henry and Curtis Livingston scored two goals apiece, and Daugherty had 12 saves.
"The guys are responding and they're really buying into what we're doing," Spatafore said. "It's a process. It takes time."
Boys tennis team
is 'really young'
Boys tennis coach Ryan French hopes his team gains valuable experience as the season continues.
The Wildcats were 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Westerville North on April 18.
South lost a key contributor from a year ago as first-singles player Jacob Kotik, a senior, opted not to play this season.
Freshman Anthony Vilardo, who has experience at the club level, is playing first singles. Sophomore Colin Rannebarger is playing second singles and senior Will Zelinski is at third singles.
Senior Ekow Ampah and junior Nathan Drum are at first doubles, and freshmen Quan Phan and Allen Liu are playing second doubles.
"We're really young," French said. "We have three freshmen playing varsity and I only have seven kids."
hopes to rebound
The baseball team entered the week looking to bounce back in OCC-Buckeye play.
The Wildcats were 4-8 overall and 1-6 in the league before playing North on April 19.
Jordan Orr and Brad Robbins combined to allow just three hits in a 1-0 loss to visiting North on April 17.
South split two games with Connellsville (Pennsylvania) on April 15, losing the first game 4-3 and winning the second 6-3.
Orr's two-run double in the fifth inning gave the Wildcats the lead for good in the second game.
"We needed a win," coach Tim Bates said. "We played two good games. We lost one by one run. All we needed was a bloop and a blast to win that one."
South played without Jaelen Gill and Robbins, who were attending spring football games for their respective colleges. Gill has committed to Ohio State and Robbins will play at Michigan.
finish first at meet
The boys and girls track and field teams each won titles in the Washington Court House Invitational on April 14.
The boys finished first of 10 teams with 158 points, ahead of runner-up Hillsboro (85).
Dominique Long won the 100 meters (11.13 seconds) and teamed with Ty Chapman, George Patil and Malik Powell to win the 1,600 relay (3:31.05).
The girls finished first (153.5) of 10 teams ahead of second-place Fairfield Christian (102).
Brielle Collier won the 100 hurdles (15.0), 300 hurdles (46.09) and long jump (16 feet, 1/4 inch).
Twelve student-athletes announced their college decisions during a ceremony April 12.
In addition to Rebmann, Cameron Caldwell will play men's basketball at Capital, Luke Carpenter will play men's volleyball at Milwaukee School of Engineering, Mason Cobler will play men's volleyball at Cincinnati Christian, Collier will compete in women's track and field at Kent State, Brandon Frank will play men's soccer at Capital, Jake Garrison will play men's basketball at Denison, Kathryn Gaunt will compete in women's cross country and track and field at Wooster, Annie McCrate will play softball at Bluffton, Marteana Newton will compete in women's track and field at Wittenberg, Sam Shalvey will compete in wrestling at Otterbein and Deion Woodson will play men's volleyball at Wittenberg.