Although he was disappointed with his team's record, Westerville South High School boys lacrosse coach Michael Spatafore saw several positives during his second season.
South finished 4-14 overall with a 12-9 loss at 11th-seeded Pickerington Central in the first round of the Division I, Region 3 tournament May 12. The Wildcats were seeded 18th.
"We had improvement from last year, but we aren't satisfied," said Spatafore, whose team finished 2-17 last season. "We made big strides at the end of the season. If we can keep that going through the offseason and into next year, we can be a very dangerous team."
South won two late-season games, defeating Big Walnut 11-4 on May 5 and Jonathan Alder 13-4 on May 9. Its other wins came against Wellington (13-5 on March 27) and Johnstown (11-1 on April 18).
The Wildcats went 1-6 in the OCC-Buckeye Division to finish seventh behind Olentangy (7-0), New Albany (6-1), Olentangy Liberty (5-2), Olentangy Orange (4-3), Westerville Central (3-4) and Westerville North (2-5) and ahead of Big Walnut (0-7).
South lost to North 16-6 on April 10 and Central 14-3 on May 1.
The Wildcats lose eight seniors. Senior defender Bron Toth and junior attacker/midfielder Kahwan Thrweatt were named honorable mention all-region.
"This year was definitely better than last year," said senior defender Henry Clareson, who will play club lacrosse at the University of Pittsburgh. "We were more of a team. We played more as a unit than as individuals and it showed in the scores in certain games we played. It showed in our record."
Thrweatt led the Wildcats in scoring with 29 goals and five assists, followed by junior midfielder Bryce Wilson (27 goals, 5 assists), freshman attacker/midfielder Sam Swisher (12 goals, 9 assists), freshman attacker/midfielder Andrew Ware (10 goals, 8 assists), senior attacker Carter Henry (8 goals, 5 assists), sophomore midfielder Noah Raber (8 goals, 4 assists) and senior attacker Curtis Livingston (10 goals, 1 assist).
Senior goalkeeper Jeffrey Daugherty finished with 141 saves.
Other players eligible to return are juniors Ethan Hollern (midfielder) and Adam Wartel (midfielder), sophomores Nathan Gibbs (attacker), Christian Mehlo (midfielder), Braden Mulick (midfielder) and Deacon Smith (midfielder) and freshmen Kenton Flood (defender), Donovon Hunt (defender) and Jack Trimble (midfielder).
Boys volleyball team endures tough season
The boys volleyball team struggled after losing its nucleus from a year ago.
The 18th-seeded Wildcats finished 3-12 overall with a 25-10, 25-16, 25-13 loss to third-seeded Hilliard Davidson in a Division I East Region tournament second-round match May 19 at Hilliard Darby.
South defeated 17th-seeded Reynoldsburg 25-23, 28-26, 25-22 in the first round May 18 at Darby.
After winning the OCC-Buckeye title last season at 8-0, the Wildcats went 0-10 in the league to finish sixth behind Olentangy (10-0), Liberty (8-2), North (6-4), Central (4-6) and Orange (2-8).
Senior Josh Coffey (right-side hitter/outside hitter) was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-region. Senior Max Perry (middle hitter) was second-team all-league, and senior Pedro Cordero (setter) was honorable mention all-league.
"It was a rebuilding year after a successful 2017 season," coach Vicki Phillips said. "We had four players who had never played volleyball. As the season went on, the team got better at every match. I'm very proud of all the hard work these players put into the season."
Cordero and seniors Parker Ahlers (outside hitter), Ludwig Centeno (defensive specialist/right-side hitter) and Brayan Figueroa (defensive specialist) were first-year players.
South finished the season with seven players, all seniors, on the roster.
Last season, the Wildcats advanced to a Division I state quarterfinal, losing to eventual champion Cleveland St. Ignatius 25-18, 25-19, 25-16 to finish 20-8 overall.