The Worthington Christian boys bowling team made its initial appearance in the Division II state tournament in the 2015-16 season.
The girls team established itself in a different way that season by competing with a full roster for the first time.
Four years later, the girls now have the experience of competing at state to build on.
A six-member senior class led the way this season as the Warriors finished 15th (2,584) at state Feb. 29 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
"For them to even dream of being at state (when the seniors were freshmen) was kind of a pipe dream, but we always said it was our goal and we got here," coach Matt Hamilton said. "It just wasn't where we had one good bowler, but we had a lot of good bowlers. Usually, a different one would show up every time. They set a good foundation for next year."
The top eight teams at the 16-team state tournament advanced to the championship round.
Junior Lilly Marsh tied for 49th with a 480 three-game series to lead the Warriors and junior Emily Weishaar rolled a 418 to place 72nd. Seniors Natalie Opava and Amber Ralston and juniors Hope Nyland and Abby Lanker also competed in regulation.
"We were super close," Ralston said. "Just the team being able to support each other when we were down (is what I'll remember)."
Seniors Coral Varian and Naysa Dunlap also were on the state tournament roster, while Anna Opava and Jaclyn Hamilton were the other seniors in the program.
"I'm very proud of our team," Dunlap said.
Marsh had a team-best 162.8 average in COHSBC action, as the Warriors won the COHSBC-C Division at 11-0 and finished 17-0 overall.
Junior Rae Schreiber and freshmen Cierra Mudge and Audrey Sanders are others eligible to return.
"We have six juniors and two freshmen, so we'll have that going into next year and hopefully I'll recruit a couple freshmen and sophomores to build the team back up," coach Hamilton said. "(The seniors) set a good foundation for next year."
Weishaar and Marsh were first-team all-MSL-Ohio and Ralston, Dunlap and Natalie Opava made the second team.
The boys team is losing only one senior in Caleb Slagle after finishing 10th in the district tournament Feb. 20 at HP Lanes. Slagle placed fifth with a 592, 62 pins behind the second and final individual state qualifier.
Junior Mason Marsh and sophomores Noah Dirscherl, Connor Lawson, Jonah Varian and Tyler White should be the top returnees next year. Sophomores Will Muskopf and Nathan Fullerton are others eligible to return.
Slagle was first-team all-MSL-Ohio, Jonah Varian and White made the second team and Dirscherl was honorable mention.
"(Slagle) did really well and (district was) a good way for him to head out as a senior," coach Dave Krebs said. "We still have a very young team and it bodes well for the future."
Girls team falls in district final
The third-seeded girls basketball team came up just short in a Division III district final Feb. 28 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, losing 44-42 to second-seeded Cardington to finish 19-6.
It was Worthington Christian's first district final appearance since 2015 when it won a Division IV district title.
The Warriors led 31-26 early in the third quarter, but the Pirates tied the game at 33 and held leads of 41-36 and 43-37 before Worthington Christian nearly rallied for the win.
With six seconds left, junior wing player Libby Dalton's 3-point attempt just missed as the Pirates held on.
"I feel that I kind of failed the seniors who wanted to win the district championship," first-year coach Jason Dawson said. "We got off a good shot. Libby Dalton had a wide-open look and I'll take her shooting that shot anytime. She's been shooting all season and making shots. That one just didn't go in, but I don't fault her. She had guts to take the shot."
The Warriors are losing three seniors in guards Ashley Hall, Mianna Hartings and Eliana Styer.
"Ashley Hall did an incredible job preparing these girls for the moment," Dawson said. "She came in every day in practice and put it on some girls. Eliana and Mianna create a high energy and really create tempo. They're not going to stop and are super competitive, which makes it easier for a coach."
Junior guard Katherine Weakley, who averaged 16 points and scored her 1,000th career point this season, was named first-team all-district. Junior forward Blessing King (10 points per game) and freshman forward Meghan Mayotte (12 ppg) both were third-team all-district.
Dalton and freshman guard Megan Weakley also saw time in the starting lineup.
Others eligible to return include junior Izzy Slaughter (forward), sophomores Kendyl Burns (forward), Anna Schwartz (post player) and Jaeda Tagoe (wing player/guard) and freshman Sylvia Fulks (guard).
"We have five starters coming back that started at some point in the season and we have some really good young girls from (the junior varsity), which went 19-2," Dawson said. "That's down the road, and they have to continue to work on their game. The offseason tells what the in-season does."
Boys team reaches district semifinal
The second-seeded boys basketball team played eighth-seeded Galion Northmor on March 3 in a Division III district semifinal.
The winner plays top-seeded Harvest Prep or 12th-seeded Columbus Academy in a district final Friday, March 6, at Ohio Dominican.
The district champion faces Chillicothe Zane Trace, Frankfort Adena, Winchester Eastern or Ironton in a regional semifinal Wednesday, March 11, at Ohio University. The regional final is March 14 at OU.
Worthington Christian had a first-round bye and beat 14th-seeded Fairbanks 59-33 on Feb. 28 in a second-round game to improve to 19-4.
The Warriors, who also beat the Panthers 52-35 on Dec. 3, got 20 points from Derrick Hardin and 14 points and five assists from D.J. Moore. Hardin went 5-for-6 from 3-point range.