Tatum McElwain's profile on at least two recruiting websites lists her positions as "forward/defense/midfield," as does her listing on the online roster for her club girls soccer team, Sporting Columbus.

Her Pickerington Central coach, Maria Manzo, knows that is no exaggeration.

"I knew it when she was 10," said Manzo, who coached McElwain at Crew SC Academy and became Central's coach before McElwain's freshman season. "She's always been one of the top players whenever I've coached her. I can put her back on defense and I can move her up (to forward) if we need a spark on offense. She's mostly defensive-minded, but that doesn't limit anything else she can do."

McElwain, a junior, starts at center back for the Tigers but can move into the midfield or forward position during a game, depending on the opponent and situation. She has been a constant throughout the past three seasons for Central, which was 8-7 overall before finishing the regular season Oct. 8 at Logan and went 2-3 in the OCC-Ohio Division.

McElwain had two goals through 15 games, having scored one in a 2-1 season-opening loss at Bexley on Aug. 20 and the other in a 7-0 win at Teays Valley on Sept. 5.

"I can fit in wherever (Manzo) needs me," McElwain said. "If we need a goal at the last minute, she can throw me up top and rely on me to put the ball in the net or get an assist to put one in. If she needs me on defense, she knows I will be hustling back to stop any possible shots and help people mark up and help control the game a little bit more."

McElwain, who also is a defender on the girls lacrosse team, attributes her success to her speed and physicality.

"I have good enough foot skills to work in the midfield and put some balls through. I'm fast enough to beat people to the ball on offense and defense. I pride myself on those things," McElwain said.

"Tatum is really reliable. She is an awesome player. Every team needs somebody like her who can do a lot of things," midfielder Lexey Sheets said. "I was a defender when I was a freshman and I moved to midfielder when I was a sophomore. It's not the easiest thing to change positions, but it's about what the team needs. Our defense has been stellar. We've had some injuries, but we've played well."

Central finished league play Oct. 3 with a 2-1 home loss to Grove City. Ramiya Roy scored the Tigers' only goal as the Greyhounds kept their hopes alive for a league championship at 3-0-1, tied with Pickerington North, to which Grove City plays host Thursday, Oct. 10.

Central is the 21st seed in the 45-team Division I district tournament and will play host to 38th-seeded Teays Valley in the first round Wednesday, Oct. 16. The winner visits second-seeded Pickerington North for a second-round game Oct. 19.

The Tigers hope to surpass their tournament achievements from a year ago, when they reached their first district semifinal since 2014 and won multiple postseason games for the first time since 2010.

"We decided we'd go wherever North was (on the bracket). That's what the girls wanted," Manzo said.

"We did some good things in the tournament last year. We hope that can happen again."

Doubles teams advance to district

The doubles teams of Semmie Moore and Khandice Thomas and Ella Culver and Talia DiLello will represent the girls tennis team in the Division I district tournament Thursday, Oct. 10, and Saturday, Oct. 12, at Reynoldsburg.

Moore and Thomas were seeded first in Central's home sectional that concluded Oct. 5 and finished first, going 4-0 and defeating Watkins Memorial's Journey Kissell and Lillia Walter 7-6, 2-6, 6-2 in the final. Third-seeded Culver and DiLello went 3-1 and edged Watterson's Margaret Baur and Abby Giesler 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in the third-place match.

The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district.

Also competing but failing to advance were singles players Alexis Heren (2-1), Sydney Vernadakis (1-1) and Katie Weidner (0-1).

At district, the top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to state Oct. 18 and 19 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.

Central was 16-4 before playing host to Watkins Memorial on Oct. 8 in its last dual match of the season.

Golf teams fall short of district

A season in which the boys golf team won its first OCC-Ohio championship since 2001 saw the Tigers fall short of a Division I district tournament berth.

In a sectional Oct. 2 at Turnberry, junior Aidan Allen shot a 79 and came up short in a four-player playoff for the fourth and final individual berth to district Oct. 8 at Apple Valley, and Central finished sixth (322) behind champion Pickerington North (306) as 15 teams scored.

The top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district.

Also scoring for Central were sophomore Cole Crandall (80) and juniors Jaden Thompson (81) and Blake Bennett (82). Sophomore Carter Woodward also played, shooting an 89.

In a girls sectional Oct. 2 at Blacklick Woods, Central finished fifth (366) behind champion New Albany (286) as 11 teams scored. The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Oct. 8 at New Albany Links.

Scoring for the Tigers were sophomore Ella Drake (87), senior Miriah Gabel (90), junior Riley Stewart (92) and sophomore Jenna Saythongphet (97). The team's fifth golfer, junior Karlie Skaggs, did not participate.




Below are the coming schedules for the Central cross country, boys soccer and girls volleyball teams:


Oct. 12 -- OCC-Ohio meet at Lancaster


*Oct. 10 -- Home vs. Gahanna

Oct. 15 -- Home vs. 42nd-seeded Watkins Memorial in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays 32nd-seeded Teays Valley in second round Oct. 17. The Tigers are seeded 22nd.


*Oct. 10 -- At Gahanna. The Tigers lost to the Lions 25-17, 25-16, 25-12 on Sept. 17.

Oct. 15 -- At 18th-seeded Canal Winchester in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays host to 39th-seeded Briggs in second round Oct. 17. The Tigers are seeded 24th.

*League contest