Watterson Roundup: Eagles boys lacrosse team looking to recapture 2019 form

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Watterson's Henry Blevins (22) passes to teammate Jack Henry (1) during a scrimmage March 10 against Thomas Worthington. Blevins, who was named Region 7 Player of the Year in 2019, is a key senior leader for the Eagles.

During its second season under coach Chris Sauter in 2019, the Watterson boys lacrosse team improved by seven wins and went 17-3 while earning a Division II, Region 7 runner-up finish. 

The Eagles were hoping that trajectory would have continued last spring with the expected return of all but six players, including one of the program’s all-time leading scorers in Dominic Dean, but the season was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

Dean is now playing for Bellarmine after tallying 71 goals and 43 assists in 2019, but seniors Andrew Bettendorf (midfielder), Henry Blevins (long-stick midfielder) and Tanner Mercer (midfielder) give the program an experienced trio to lead the way. 

“The program is excited for the season and to finally be able to use our new home field,” Sauter said. “We were heartbroken that last season was canceled, but we stuck together during the hard times and are confident our team culture has continued to strengthen.” 

Blevins, who was named Region 7 Player of the Year in 2019, is joined on defense by junior Kevin Hinsman. Senior Zac Passino, junior Jake Meyers, sophomore Deacon Pinson and freshman Dominic Purcell are defensive midfielders, with junior A.J. DeFilippo, sophomore Ben Lones and freshman Landon Purcell also at defender.

Sophomore Sean Thomas and freshman Elliott Baur are the goalies. 

Senior Brian Hall joins Bettendorf and Mercer as key midfielders. Others at the position include juniors Ryan Cap and Beck Liles, sophomores Tyler Lieu and Michael Seeger and freshmen Will Baumgartner, Chris Infante, Angelo Lamatrice and Davis Minzler. 

On attack, juniors Jack Henry and Chris Sauter Jr. should lead the way. Others at the position include senior Alex Stevenson, juniors Max Baumgartner and Zoe Nolen and freshman Braxton Rundio. 

“Watterson faculty worked tirelessly to have our kids in school every day and fortunately our athletes were already accustomed to the majority of the COVID restrictions,” coach Sauter said. “While like everyone we lack some real varsity game experience, we’re confident that barring injuries we should be back at full strength by midseason and ready to compete against the state’s best.” 

BOYS LACROSSE 

Coach: Chris Sauter, third season 

Next game: April 10 vs. Dublin Coffman 

Key athletes: Andrew Bettendorf, Henry Blevins, Brian Hall, Jack Henry, Kevin Hinsman, Tanner Mercer and Chris Sauter Jr. 

Girls lacrosse team 

‘creating a foundation’ 

The girls lacrosse team has a new coach in Eileen Barrett, a 2013 Olentangy Liberty graduate who helped that program to a regional runner-up finish and go 11-6 during her senior season. 

That’s the same record the Eagles posted in 2019 under former coach A.J. English. 

Barrett played for one season at the University of Tampa and one season of club lacrosse at SMU before returning to central Ohio, where she’s coached with the Blackjack Elite club team. 

She was hired to coach the Eagles last spring before the season was canceled because of the pandemic. 

“This spring has been going really well,” Barrett said. “We’re building the program from the ground up and creating a foundation for this team. We have a lot of talented players that are very motivated to succeed and honestly are just grateful to be able to play this year. We’re very excited for the season.” 

Watterson, which reached a Region 7 quarterfinal when it had just four seniors in 2019, will be led by junior attacker and Ohio State commit Zoe Coleman. Junior Makenna Twombly is another attacker who has been receiving college interest, according to Barrett.  

Others at attacker include seniors Victoria Alves, Bridget Korn and Krishna Patel, juniors Kate Geswein and Anna Roller and sophomores Maggie Best and Meg Newcomb. 

Juniors Brooke Biagi and Maria Decaminada, sophomores Katie Bettendorf and Lilly Goodfellow and freshman Carly Henry are at midfielder. 

Seniors Molly Balyeat and Caroline Slater should lead a defense that also includes seniors Victoria Gaughan and Sydney Johnson, juniors Isabella Eramo and Abbie Foltz and freshman Avery McClain. 

Senior Aubrey Bower and sophomore Kathryn Hall are the goalies. Bower has committed to DePauw.

GIRLS LACROSSE 

Coach: Eileen Barrett, first season 

Next game: April 10 at Cincinnati Indian Hill 

Key athletes: Katie Bettendorf, Brooke Biagi, Zoe Coleman, Isabella Eramo, Carly Henry, Avery McClain, Caroline Slater and Makenna Twombly 

julrey@thisweeknews.com 

@UlreyThisWeek