Columbus Academy Roundup: Vikings boys lacrosse squad expects strong season

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Junior midfielder Henry Rubey (left) is expected to be a key contributor for the Columbus Academy boys lacrosse team. The Vikings open April 8 at Westerville Central.

After earning the most wins in program history in 2019, the Columbus Academy boys lacrosse team couldn’t wait to return to the field this spring. 

The Vikings went 17-4 two years ago and also established a program record for goals in a season with 344.

Last season was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

“This is probably our most complete team since I’ve been here,” third-year coach Derek Lichtfuss said. “A couple of years ago we had that really high-powered offense. We’re actually stronger on the defensive side of the ball (this season). We were really young on defense a couple of years ago.” 

The Vikings, a Division II program, open April 8 at Division I Westerville Central. 

“(Central) always has really good athletes,” Lichtfuss said. “Their numbers are a little down this year, but we always anticipate them having some pretty good athletes in a crossover from football and basketball.” 

The top returnee is junior attacker Zachary White, who had 50 goals and 31 assists in 2019. He was first-team all-region and honorable mention all-state. 

Junior Kyle Bernsdorf and freshman Parker Knapp are competing to start in goal in place of 2020 graduate Philip Soderberg.  

Also back are seniors Vassar Barney (defender), Graham Mallory (long-stick midfielder), Robert Mills (midfielder) and Chris Sugar (midfielder) and juniors Drake Bellisari (midfielder) and Charles Stoner (long-stick midfielder). 

Other seniors are Rowan Hennessy (defender), Cooper Schnitzer (midfielder) and Alexander Wood (attacker). 

Also looking to contribute are juniors Devan Agrawal (attacker), Jack Carlin (long-stick midfielder), Jake Carlin (midfielder), Kyle Carlin (midfielder), Gyvnn Mendenhall (defender) and Henry Rubey (midfielder), sophomores George Brigdon (midfielder), Jake Calodney (midfielder), Miles Freidman (attacker) and Ethan Kim (goalie) and freshmen Michael Jauchius (attacker) and Thomas Jauchius (long-stick midfielder). 

“This is my first year with all of my guys, guys who have been with me since their freshman year,” Lichtfuss said. “It’s been pretty amazing to watch. We didn’t have a full year last year and just seeing the seniors step up and the upperclassmen lead, I’ve been able to take a step back during practice and they’re leading it a little bit more. 

“The culture is starting to take shape. We have a really good group of kids and a good cohesive group.”

BOYS LACROSSE 

Coach: Derek Lichtfuss, third season 

Opener: April 8 at Westerville Central 

Key athletes: Vassar Barney, Drake Bellisari, Graham Mallory, Robert Mills, Chris Sugar and Zachary White 

Girls lacrosse team 

has new leader 

Morgan Fee Maldovan is looking forward to her first season as girls lacrosse coach. She succeeded Anne Horton, who stepped down after 26 years with the program. 

The Vikings open April 3 at Medina. 

“Things are going great (and) we’re having a lot of fun,” Fee Maldovan said. “Coach Horton has been really great communication-wise, helping us with scheduling and field space. Before every scrimmage, I’ve gotten a good luck text or a good luck email from her, so it’s been really nice how much she’s been helping us out.” 

In 2019, Academy advanced to its third consecutive Division II, Region 7 final, losing to DeSales 13-7. 

The Vikings also lost to the Stallions in regional finals 2018 and 2017. 

Fee Maldovan expects her team to again contend for a regional title. 

“The girls have been amazing,” she said. “They’ve been great. They’ve been so receptive to the coaching. They’ve been so encouraging as far as stuff that they’re learning, stuff that we’re implementing as coaches. They’ve been awesome. I’m super excited for this year. It’s going to be an awesome year for them both athletically and academically. ... They’re just crushing it.” 

Junior midfielder Evie Gee was first-team all-region in 2019, and senior Ashley Reynolds returns in goal. 

Also back are seniors Charlotte Adams (midfielder), Sarah Klingerman (attacker) and Suzy L’Hommedieu (defender/midfielder) and juniors Claudia Klingbeil (attacker/midfielder), Avery Mitchell (attacker/midfielder) and Gurby Vaziri (defender). 

Other players are seniors Zoey Black (attacker) and Anjali Rangi (defender), juniors Charlotte Rose (midfielder) and Emma Yakam (defender) and sophomore Feesha Slootsky (attacker).

GIRLS LACROSSE 

Coach: Morgan Fee Maldovan, first season 

Opener: April 3 at Medina 

Key athletes: Charlotte Adams, Evie Gee, Sarah Klingerman, Suzy L’Hommedieu, Ashley Reynolds and Gurby Vaziri

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank