The last time the Wellington boys soccer team finished with a losing record was in 2012, two years before J.J. Bain took over as coach.
Since that time, the Jaguars have reached double figures in wins each season and have captured a pair of Division III district championships.
The recent success has Wellington dreaming big again this fall.
"With a large contingent of returners, we want to take the next step as a program in the OHSAA tournament," Bain said. "Overall, we're encouraged."
A roster that features 11 seniors among its 17 players is the first reason for optimism. Having one of those returnees be senior Eli Dulle (midfielder/forward) is another.
Last season, Dulle had 15 goals and 16 assists and was named MSL-Cardinal Division Player of the Year and scored one of the Jaguars' goals in their 7-2 loss to Grandview in a regional semifinal.
The other goal was scored by senior Freddie Lin (midfielder/forward), who also was first-team all-league.
Wellington opened Aug. 17 by tying Toledo St. John's at 2 and beat Bloom-Carroll 4-0 on Aug. 20 before opening MSL-Ohio action Aug. 28 against Buckeye Valley.
The Jaguars and Buckeye Valley, which was in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference last season, have moved to the MSL-Ohio.
Seniors Zak Ahmed (forward), Adenola Atekoja (forward), Ahmet Ozer (forward) and Nick Robinson (defender), juniors Eoin Basobas O'Carroll (defender/midfielder) and Jordan Livits (forward/midfielder) and sophomore Henry Lin (midfielder) are other key returnees.
Bain expects seniors Noah Jones-Beyene (defender), Vincent Hall (forward), Ezekiel Lloyd (defender), William Reid (midfielder) and Julian Shuttleworth (defender) to be impact players.
Sophomore Will Starker is taking on a key role at midfielder and classmate Aurius Calloway is at goalkeeper.
Freshman Jake Johnson will provide depth in goal.
"So far, we have established a good foundation," Bain said. "As long as we can sustain consistent focus throughout the entire game, the outlook is bright for this group."
High hopes remain for girls soccer team
The girls soccer team is coming off a season in which it finished 10-3-5 overall and 1-1-4 in the MSL-Ohio and reached a Division III district semifinal.
There are just three seniors in the program and 17 players overall, but fourth-year coach Lindsey Smith believes the Jaguars again can be one of the area's top teams.
"Our team chemistry is very strong and will help us to achieve our goals," Smith said. "(Those) include advancing to a district final game and finishing at the top of the MSL-Ohio Division standings."
Wellington opened Aug. 19 with a 7-0 victory over Fisher Catholic and was 2-0 before opening MSL-Ohio play Aug. 28 at Columbus School for Girls.
Eli Burkhardt (goalie/defen-der), Mia Croft (defender) and Maddy Morosky (midfielder) comprise the senior class. Burkhardt is splitting time in goal with junior Lina Grohovsky, who also sees action at forward.
Against Fisher Catholic, Morosky scored four goals.
Junior Christine Cooke (midfielder) and sophomores Mary Morosky (forward) and Sloane Shock (defender/midfielder) are among the team's top players. Cooke had two goals and Shock scored one against Fisher Catholic.
Rounding out the team are juniors Caroline Cooke (midfielder), Lu Godfrey (forward), Mari Hannah (defender), Reagan Kadlic (defender) and Lola Perez (midfielder), sophomores Abigail Burkhardt (defender/midfielder) and Macy Croft (forward) and freshmen Lilliana Adkinson (defender), Olivia Robinson (forward) and Sophia Shihab (forward).
"We're off to a strong start," Smith said.
"Our roster only carries 17 players this year. It's critical that we remain healthy and work well as a team."
Below are the coming schedules for the Wellington boys golf , girls soccer and girls tennis teams:
Aug. 31-Sept. 1 -- Bell Cup at Pine Needles in Pinehurst, N.C.
Aug. 31 -- At Hartley
*Sept. 4 -- Home vs. Worthington Christian
*Aug. 29 -- At Whitehall
Sept. 4 -- At Hilliard Davidson