Columbus Academy Roundup: Vikings boys lacrosse squad playing with confidence

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Drake Bellisari and Columbus Academy were 8-2 and on a six-game winning streak before playing Big Walnut on April 29.

Junior attacker Zach White has high aspirations for the Columbus Academy boys lacrosse team. 

White believes the Vikings, who had won six consecutive games before playing Big Walnut on April 29, have the potential to win the program’s first Division II state championship. 

Academy, which was 8-2 before playing the Golden Eagles, had scored in double figures in all six games during the winning streak. 

“I think we could win the state championship this year; we look great this year,” White said. “I believe in everybody on my team. Every player is playing great out here.” 

Coach Derek Lichtfuss wouldn’t make the same prediction, but he supports his players’ confidence. 

“I don’t say that, but I gave them the green light to talk about (it) a little bit this year because we have the potential,” Lichtfuss said. “If you talk about (it), you can (possibly) see it happen. (You have to) believe in yourself. We can make a long run. (Win) a state championship? I don’t know. I’m not going to make that bold statement, but we can certainly make a good run.” 

White had eight goals and three assists in a 19-7 win over visiting Licking Valley on April 27.  Davey Agrawal had three goals and an assist, and Drake Bellisari and Miles Friedman each had two goals. 

Kyle Bernstorf started in goal and made three saves in the first half. Parker Knapp collected three saves in the second half. 

“Kyle has done really well as a junior. He’s our starter,” Lichtfuss said. “We try to get Parker in games where he can get some action. Kyle has been getting the majority of the time.” 

Through 10 games, White led the team in scoring with 48 goals and 41 assists for 89 points. 

“Zach is special,” Lichtfuss said. “He’s a very good player and he feeds well. He’s usually pretty unselfish, but when the time comes and he needs to go to the goal, he does.” 

Agrawal had 21 goals and six assists for 27 points, followed by Henry Rubey (19 points), Friedman (17), Bellisari (15) and Jake Carlin (13). 

Other highlights during the winning streak were victories against Watterson (15-13 on April 20) and Culver Academies of Indiana (12-10 on April 25). 

“We’ve definitely come together,” White said. “We had some big wins against Culver and Bishop Watterson.” 

Academy trailed in the second half in both games. 

“Culver was a great test,” Lichtfuss said. “They’re one of the top teams in Indiana.” 

The Vikings are preparing for the regional tournament, which begins May 15. They close the regular season with games against Division I opponents Olentangy Orange on May 6, Olentangy on May 11 and Hilliard Darby on May 13. 

Baseball team

‘working as a unit’

The baseball team has its sights set on winning a league championship followed by a long postseason run. 

The Vikings were 7-5 overall and 4-2 in the MSL-Ohio Division before playing Buckeye Valley on April 30. The teams first completed a game that was suspended because of darkness April 28, with Buckeye Valley leading 13-0 in the fourth inning.

“I like the process that they’ve bought into,” coach Todd Dunkle said. “We’re playing as a collective group and not as individuals. That’s definitely good in this sport. I told them it was going to take a little bit of time to get to where we wanted to be. We’re definitely not there yet, but we’re all moving together up the hill. We’re collectively working as a unit.” 

Academy was eighth in the Division III district poll released April 26. League rival Worthington Christian was ranked first.

The Vikings close league play with games against Whitehall on May 11 and Wellington on May 14. 

The district tournament begins May 18. 

“Our goals are still attainable,” Dunkle said. “There’s light at the end of the tunnel and we’re playing well. It’s not just one individual, it’s a collective group. They’re making plays. They’re making the routine plays.” 

Academy's Sam Huyghe finished third in the 400 in the Bloom-Carroll Invitational on April 24. He also helped the 1,600 relay place third.

Track teams improving

under new coach 

The track and field teams continue to progress under first-year coach Ashlee Abraham. 

The Vikings competed in the Bloom-Carroll Invitational on April 24, with the girls finishing third (86) behind champion Fairfield Union (121). 

Hannah Clay was second in the 100 meters (13.67 seconds) and 400 (1:04.22). Clay, Olivia Pierre-Louis, Caitlyn Hinds and Zoya Arnold were second in the 1,600 relay (4:29.8), and Mary Kate Prall, Samantha Frickel, Eleanor Schroeder and Madeline Proctor were third in the 3,200 relay (11:02.79). 

Pierre-Louis was third in the high jump (4 feet, 10 inches) and Samantha Whitson was third in the 100 hurdles (18.37).

The boys finished fourth (57) behind first-place Bloom Carroll (145) as Luke Nester won the 1,600 (4:33.9) and placed second in the 800 (2:03.28). 

Nester, Sam Huyghe, Zech Kim and Jack Yeoman were third in the 1,600 relay (3:42.7) and Huyghe was third in the 400 (53.24).

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank