Gahanna Lincoln High School senior baseball player Mitchel Megias is determined to keep pushing himself.
A little more than a year ago, Megias began spending extra time with Otterbein pitching and strength coach John LaCorte with the intention of adding power and consistency to his developing right pitching arm.
The results spoke for themselves last summer when Division I scholarship offers, including one that he accepted from the University of Notre Dame, began flooding in.
"For me, it's always been about trying to find a way to keep improving," Megias said. "Recently I've been super into nutrition. In the winter of my junior year ... I think I gained nine miles per hour on my fastball just from working with (LaCorte). I also cut out red meats, fried food, stopped eating bad food and felt a lot better."
Megias was the Lions' No. 2 pitcher last season. He was special mention all-OCC-Ohio Division and pitched the first five innings of Gahanna's 4-3 loss to Olentangy Orange in a Division I regional final.
This spring, he's being looked on as the top starter for a team still looking to settle in.
Gahanna was 6-5 overall and 3-3 in the league after losing to Grove City 8-2 on April 13 and before playing Lancaster on April 17 and 18.
After pitching well in his first two starts, Megias struggled in a 13-0 loss to Pickerington North on April 10 as the Lions committed four errors.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder showed a glimpse of his skills April 2, throwing a two-hitter as the Lions beat Reynoldsburg 4-0.
"He just works hard," coach Mike Shade said. "He's a technician. He thinks about pitching and setting up hitters and is just a competitor. As a sophomore he threw well for us and last year he threw well for us. As a senior, the fruits of his labor are showing. When he's on, he's very hard to hit."
In Megias' first start, the Lions lost 4-3 on March 27 to Melbourne (Florida) Florida Prep Academy in Cocoa Beach, Florida, as he went four-plus innings.
"I was a lot more polished (against Reynoldsburg)," Megias said. "I got behind on some hitters in my first game. The good teams we saw in Florida were 15 games into their seasons so they had a little bit of a jump on us, but we had a ton of fun down there together."
Megias, whose fastball usually sits between 89-92 mph and has hit 94, got much of his exposure from colleges with the Bo Jackson Elite travel team. Last summer, the team went to tournaments in places such as Atlanta, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Nashville, Tennessee.
He also credits his development to playing for a Gahanna program that has produced pitchers such as 2017 graduate Jackson Wolf, who is now at West Virginia, and senior teammate Johnathon Novinec, who has committed to Ohio Dominican but is out for the season with an injury.
"Honestly, my whole life I never thought a school like Notre Dame would be a realistic option for me, but I went out last summer and did a really good job and got a ton of interest from some good programs," Megias said.
"I've really learned a lot just from my time (at Gahanna). The opportunity here is something I'm super thankful for. I just want to continue to get command of my off-speed (pitches); I feel pretty good about my fastball. It would be nice to get more velocity, but I'm getting good movement and velocity."
Girls lacrosse team out to strong start
Two of the toughest OCC-Central opponents still are to come for the girls lacrosse team as it looks to build on a strong start.
The Lions were 7-0 overall after beating Hilliard Bradley 12-6 on April 14 and Centennial 18-1 on April 16, and they were 3-0 in the league before facing Pickerington Central on April 17. They have league contests Wednesday, April 25, at Dublin Coffman and April 26 at home against defending champion Upper Arlington.
During a 14-5 victory over Marysville on April 12, sophomore midfielder Julia Foresi scored a career-high eight goals.
"We can pass the ball around and trust people," Foresi said. "We relied more on one person last year and now we're more like a team. We're a young team and graduated a lot of seniors, so it's more spread out and balanced as an offensive team. ... It's a good start."
Foresi had more than 20 goals through five games to lead an offense that scored in double figures in four of the first five contests. Another key contributor offensively has been senior midfielder Stephanie Shirey, while senior defender Makina Walt and senior goalkeeper Samantha Stafford also have played well.
"I'm pleasantly surprised," coach Maggie Maley said. "We've really come out in certain games and really killed it. It's great. (Foresi) has really improved on her draw.
"She and Stephanie Shirey have come up with a system where Stephanie pushes it to Julia and she'll get it off the draw and it's worked really well."
Softball squad seeks consistency
The softball team gets its first shot at defending OCC-Ohio champion Pickerington Central when it travels Thursday, April 19, to play the Tigers.
The Lions also will get a chance to avenge their first league loss, a 10-7 decision to Reynoldsburg on April 11, when they visit the Raiders on Monday, April 23.
Gahanna was 7-3 overall and 1-1 in the league before playing Grove City on April 17 and Lancaster on April 18.
The Lions, who couldn't hold a 7-2 lead against Reynoldsburg, beat Pickerington North 15-9 on April 12. Addie Kittel hit a three-run home run and was the winning pitcher as Gahanna won despite committing seven errors.
Below are the coming schedules for the Gahanna Lincoln baseball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, softball, boys tennis and boys volleyball teams:
April 19 -- At DeSales
*April 20 -- At Pickerington Central
April 21 -- Home vs. Olentangy and New Albany
*April 23 -- Home vs. Pickerington Central
*April 25 -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg. The Lions beat the Raiders 4-0 on April 2.
April 21 -- At Westerville North
*April 24 -- Home vs. Dublin Coffman
April 19 -- At Big Walnut
*April 25 -- At Coffman
*April 19 -- At Pickerington Central
April 20 -- Point Pleasant (W.Va.) and Waterford in Valley of Thunder Tournament at Willow Wood Symmes Valley
April 21 -- Coal Grove Dawson-Bryant and Wellston in Valley of Thunder Tournament at Willow Wood Symmes Valley
*April 23 -- At Reynoldsburg
*April 25 -- Home vs. Pickerington North
*April 19 -- At Pickerington Central
April 21 -- Elida Invitational Doubles Tournament
April 23 -- At Hilliard Bradley
April 25 -- At Dublin Jerome
*April 19 -- Home vs. Coffman
*April 23 -- At Pickerington North