The Westerville South High School boys lacrosse team is considering its early season schedule a "revenge tour."
The Wildcats were 2-2 before playing Bexley on March 26, and the two wins came against teams they lost to last season. South defeated Marys-ville 14-2 on March 19 and Buckeye Valley 6-5 in overtime March 21 after losing to Marysville 11-8 and Buckeye Valley 14-4 last season.
"This feels great," said third-year coach Michael Spatafore, whose team went 4-14 overall last spring. "That's how we set the schedule up. We wanted to play those guys who have been beating us the last couple of years. ... We want them one by one and we're trying to change this program. My coaches do a great job and I have great players, so I can't take all the credit."
The Wildcats led Buckeye Valley 4-1 at halftime in the rematch before the Barons rallied to force overtime.
Senior midfielder Bryce Wilson scored with 1 minute, 43 seconds remaining in overtime.
"We're calling this our revenge tour," Wilson said. "Coming back from all these big losses last year, but coach has the program back on its feet and it's looking good for the future. He's definitely picked it out of the ashes and we're building something special here. It's a big family. I love every teammate to death."
Sophomore attacker Sam Swisher had three goals against Buckeye Valley, with Wilson scoring two and junior attacker Nathan Gibbs adding one.
Also back are senior Ethan Hollern (midfielder), juniors Braden Mulick (midfielder) and Noah Raber (midfielder) and sophomores Nathan Fitzgerald (defender), Kenton Flood (defender) and Jack Trimble (midfielder).
Freshman Miles Wilke has emerged as the starting goalkeeper and "works extremely hard," Spatafore said.
Other players include seniors Tariq Fort (midfielder), Jason Penn (midfielder), Jordan Penn (midfielder), Don Peren (midfielder) and Adam Wartel (midfielder) and juniors Christian Mehlo (midfielder), Thomas Ray (defender), Montana Svoboda (defender) and Huy Vu (midfielder).
Also looking to contribute are sophomores Donovan Hunt (defender) and Gavin Miller (goalie) and freshmen Andy Badu (attacker), Tavion Giles (defender), Christian Henson (attacker), Karson Lane (midfielder), Adam Moses (attacker), Ben Predragovich (midfielder), Oliver Smith (attacker), Bronson Wren (attacker) and Thomas Zerman (midfielder).
"We have some great young players coming up and my seniors are great leaders," Spata-fore said. "They've bought into what we're doing the last couple of years and it's starting to show finally. It helps having some numbers this year. We have almost 30 guys compared to the 19, 20 we've had in the past."
Last season, the Wildcats went 1-6 in the OCC-Buckeye Division to finish seventh behind champion Olentangy (7-0). Spatafore expects his team to improve that standing this spring.
South opens league play April 4 at Olentangy.
"The (league) looks tough," Spatafore said. "Those Olentangy schools are no joke. The overall goal at the end of the day is we want to get where they're at, so that we're at a competitive level with them."
South lost to Kettering Fairmont 11-7 on March 15 and Beavercreek 11-6 on March 23.
Girls lacrosse team earns two early wins
Coming off a 4-14 season, the girls lacrosse team is out to a good start under second-year coach Wynleux Henderson, defeating Buckeye Valley 15-2 on March 16 and Centennial 14-1 on March 20.
"We have a good group," Henderson said. "If you compare this year to last year, the girls that we have all have high expectations for themselves and the team. We're rebuilding the program. We have standards of always having high energy, always communicating, working together, constantly hustling. We want to build solid core values that the girls can buy into."
Sophomore midfielder/attacker Kaitlyn McBride scored seven goals against Centennial. Senior midfielder/attacker Miabella Pillow, who has committed to Akron, and sophomore attacker/midfielder Carizjah Wright each added two.
Sophomore goalie Nylenn Green had seven saves and freshman goalie Abigail Reagan made four saves.
Other returnees are juniors Ava Montemarano (attacker/def-ender) and Jordan Pettway (midfielder/attacker) and sophomores Sabrina Pesce (attacker/defen-der) and Morgan Pillow (attacker/midfielder/defender).
Also on the team are junior Andrea Garcia (midfield-er/attacker) and freshmen Kayla Arens (midfielder/attacker), Isabelle Balla (defender), Yaretzi Centeno (defend-er/attacker), Erin Coonfare (attacker/defender), Hewan Esayas (attacker), Corinne Femia (defender), Baydan Matan (defender) and Madison Yanichko (defender).
South opens OCC-Buckeye play April 4 against Olentangy. Last season, the Wildcats went 0-7 in the league to finish eighth behind champion New Albany (7-0).
"Our (league) is tough," Henderson said. "We have all the Olentangys, New Albany and Big Walnut. Those are always good teams. These games right now are about executing what we can control."
Below are the coming schedules for the South boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, softball, boys tennis and track & field teams:
March 29 -- Home vs. Miamisburg
April 2 -- Home vs. Pickerington Central
March 30 -- Home vs. Kettering Fairmont and Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary
March 28 -- At Dublin Scioto
April 2 -- Home vs. Thomas Worth-ington
April 2 -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg
TRACK & FIELD
April 2 -- At Hilliard Davidson