Seniors Alex Shuster and Mitch Spaulding have different ways of getting similar results for the St. Charles Preparatory School lacrosse team.
Spaulding, an attacker, is a scoring threat close to the net while Shuster, who has moved from attacker to midfielder, prefers to take his shots from long range.
Through nine games this season, they had combined for 38 goals and 20 assists. In their careers, they had totaled 241 goals and 114 assists.
"They are kind of like polar opposites," said coach Mark Berndt, whose team was 6-3 before playing Bexley on April 26. "Mitch is left-handed and Alex is right-handed. Mitch likes to take his shots up close and Alex makes goals from as far away as I have seen anyone make them. Whatever it is, they both have a scorer's mentality."
Spaulding said the two work as a unit because they have played together since the sixth grade.
"We have been playing on youth teams since we were in the sixth grade, but we really started clicking as freshmen and sophomores," said Spaulding, a Powell resident who was second-team all-region with 38 goals and 19 assists last season. "We have good chemistry and have worked well for the past four years."
Shuster said it all comes down to instinctually knowing what the other is going to do.
"We know the way each other likes to play and we know what to expect on the field," said Shuster, a New Albany resident who has signed to play at Massachusetts. "I know (Mitch) likes the ball inside so I get it into him, and he knows I like it outside and looks for me out there."
The two played integral roles in a 17-6 win over DeSales on April 19. Spaulding scored six times against the previously unbeaten Stallions, and Shuster added three goals.
"We all meshed together as a team and played our best game of the season," said Spaulding, who plans to attend Cincinnati but won't play a sport. "We played like we were in midseason form. Everyone was on the same page and we ran our offense the best we had all season."
The Cardinals followed with an 8-5 win over Hilliard Darby on April 22. Spaulding had four goals and Shuster scored twice.
"We have a veteran team with (15) seniors who have been playing for a lot of years," said Shuster, who was first-team all-region last season with 37 goals and 20 assists. "Everyone has started to come together and play their roles on the field."
Entering the week, Spaulding had 22 goals and nine assists while Shuster had 16 goals and 11 assists.
Despite the duo doing much of the scoring, Berndt said they have taken the next step as players. They look to pass and get their teammates involved to give opposing defenses even more of a challenge.
"They have become tremendously selfless on the field," he said. "They are increasingly more confident and are getting assists instead of goals.
"They draw the best defenders, so it makes sense for them to pass the ball off. That makes it so much harder on defenses."
Baseball team remains
in CCL title hunt
The baseball team was 11-5 overall and 3-1 in the CCL before playing DeSales on April 24.
The Cardinals trailed Watterson (4-0) in the standings, having lost to the Eagles 7-2 on April 12. DeSales was 2-2, followed by Hartley at 1-3 and Ready at 0-4.
Through 16 games, Chase Sanders was leading St. Charles in home runs (2) and RBI (16). He also was batting .321 with 11 runs, four doubles and two triples.
Tanner Fix led in batting average (.362) and runs (16), and also had six RBI, two triples and five stolen bases. James Berry was hitting .340 with eight RBI and 10 runs, and Will Kuypers was batting .324 with eight RBI, three runs and a team-high five doubles. Zach Franz was batting .324 with one homer, four RBI and nine runs.
Tennis team close
to clinching CCL title
The tennis team was on the verge of winning its sixth consecutive CCL title when it faced Watterson on April 25.
The Cardinals were 4-4 overall and 3-0 in the league before playing the Eagles, sweeping all courts in their league matches. They earned 5-0 wins over Hartley on April 4, DeSales on April 11 and Ready on April 18.
The lineup has featured Jack Dabek, Evan Yakubov and Vinh Thai at first, second and third singles, respectively. Milan Gonela and Quyen Thai have played first doubles with Matt Morrison and Windsor Niermeyer at second doubles.
St. Charles will play Lancaster on Monday, May 1, in its opener of the OTCA Division I team tournament opener. The winner will play Gahanna or Dublin Coffman on a date to be determined.
Twelve St. Charles student-athletes recently announced their college selections.
In addition to Shuster, Tavon Brown (Columbus) will play basketball at Hillsdale, Luke Brake (Newark) will play football at Earlham, Jordan Burkey (Bexley) will play football at Wittenberg, Franz (Sunbury) will play baseball at Ashland, Ryan Huelsman (Powell) will play soccer at Ohio Wesleyan, Davionn Johnson (Columbus) will play football at Notre Dame College, Hans Kabelka (Clintonville) will compete in swimming and diving at Cincinnati, Nick Muszynski (Pickerington) will play basketball at Belmont, Kristo Strickler (Hilliard) will play soccer at Virginia Tech, Ben Sugar (Upper Arlington) will compete in swimming and diving at Ohio State and Yakubov (Upper Arlington) will play golf at Indiana.