Tim Bosco is new to the Olentangy Liberty High School girls lacrosse team this spring, but the coach has admired the program from afar for several years.
The replacement for Nicole Stines spent the last eight years coaching with the middle school and youth programs at St. Paul in Westerville. His daughter, Julia Bosco, is a DeSales senior and lacrosse player who previously played on the same club team as Liberty senior midfielder Molly Bursinger.
Stines stepped down after leading the Patriots to a 40-15-1 mark in three seasons and Division I regional runner-up finishes each of the past two years.
"I always wanted to coach high school, and it was just a great opportunity (to come to Liberty)," Bosco said. "Molly actually played on my daughter's club team, and I'm very familiar with the juniors, so I've known they were good players for several years. I look for the junior class to fill the gaps from last year."
Bursinger was first-team all-OCC-Buckeye Division last season along with 2018 graduates Grace Buckey (attacker), Emma Kern (defender), Mollie McCormack (midfielder) and Madison Rapier (midfielder). Liberty went 6-1 in the league to finish second behind New Albany (7-0).
The Patriots, who open Wednesday, April 3, at New Albany, lost to the Eagles 15-9 in the 2018 regular season and 10-8 in the Division I, Region 1 final to finish 16-3 overall.
Seniors Kara Bradley, Addie Druckbroad and Jenna Lickovitch lead the defense, while freshman Ava Guagenti is expected to join that trio as a starter.
Sophomore Kesley Eckhert should be another key defender.
The other seniors are attackers Rory Ball, Meghan Heitzman, Katie Hughes, Anna Kelly and Allie Mitchell. They should be joined up front by junior Paige Haughn.
Juniors Emma Shear and Julia Swaro are the top midfielders, and junior Gillian O'Rourke is the goalkeeper.
Others looking to contribute include juniors Anna Benton (midfielder), Lauren Buddie (midfielder), Sam Frantz (defender), Sydney Miller (defender), Lauren Newcomb (midfielder) and Dani Worrell (attacker).
"Molly is obviously the offensive force coming back, and we've got three pretty strong senior defenders back in Kara Bradley, Addie Druckenbroad and Jenna Lickovitch," Bosco said. "I've just kind of tried to build a culture of defense with just a lot of good fundamentals as far as passing, catching and ball movement."
Boys lacrosse coach likes young talent
With just six seniors, the boys lacrosse team is leaning on its juniors and sophomores.
The positive in that scenario is there's significant talent in those classes, according to seventh-year coach Jason Godwin.
"With only six seniors, we're pretty young, but they've got lots of experience," Godwin said. "We've got a lot of juniors and we've got some good, talented juniors, and the sophomore class is really good."
There are seven seniors listed on the roster, but senior defender and Capital commit James Howenstine is out for the season with a foot injury.
One of the top sophomores is Aidan Kenley, a midfielder who has committed to Ohio State after finishing with 36 goals and 13 assists last season, but he also won't play this season because of an injury.
The Patriots are 0-2 after losing to Dublin Coffman 11-5 on March 16 and Worthington Kilbourne 5-4 on March 23. They open OCC-Buckeye action April 9 at Big Walnut.
They went 14-7 last season, losing to Coffman 9-5 in the Division I, Region 1 final.
Leading the senior class is Andrew Guagenti, a defender and Ohio State commit who was first-team all-league last spring along with Kenley and 2018 graduates Gabe Meyer, Skylar Wahlund and Johnny Wiseman. Both Wahlund, a goalie who made a program-record 219 saves, and Wiseman, who was the league's Player of the Year and had a program-record 87 points (60 goals, 27 assists), now play for Ohio State.
The other seniors are Ethan Donelson (attacker/midfielder), Nick Paolo (defensive midfielder), Peter Spallino (midfielder), Carson Tate (defender) and Jacob Weer (midfielder).
Sophomore Adam Blind is at goalie along with freshman Nathan Folskey.
Sophomore Alex Theuer-kauf leads the attackers, with juniors Andrew Barrett and Aidan King at midfielder and junior Sam McCormack seeing action at both positions.
Others juniors are Matthew Barrett (defender), Ryan Bird (long-stick midfielder), Grant Butler (defender), Tyson Chapman (attacker/midfielder), Timmy Fitzgerald (attacker/mid-fielder), Jack Forsmann (defender), Jacob Kessler (attacker/midfielder), Korey Raymond (long-stick midfielder), Mason Spaulding (attacker) and Dylan Stevens (defensive midfielder).
Others looking to contribute include sophomores Keaton Butler (midfielder), Ashton Forsberg (defender/defensive midfielder), Adam Marks (faceoff midfielder), Hagen Schiffer (midfielder) and Joey Wiseman (attacker/midfielder) and freshman Charlie Howenstine (attacker).
Below are the coming schedules for the Liberty baseball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, softball, boys tennis and track & field teams:
April 1 -- Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne
March 30 -- Home vs. Cincinnati Moeller
April 2 -- Home vs. Delaware
*April 3 -- At New Albany
April 1 -- Home vs. Dublin Coffman
April 3 -- At Central Crossing
April 2 -- At Hilliard Davidson
TRACK & FIELD
April 1 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto