Notebook: Grove City Lacrosse Club working to expand sport locally

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Grove City senior Drew Donahue plays midfielder and attacker for the Grove City Lacrosse Club high school team. The club hopes to eventually get lacrosse sanctioned by South-Western City Schools.

Grove City Lacrosse Club president Craig Stewart hopes his sport can someday become part of the South-Western City Schools athletics family. 

In its sixth year, the club continues to promote the sport for athletes from the youth to high school levels, with the high school team comprised of players from Grove City, Central Crossing, Grandview and Teays Valley. 

Stewart said club organizers remain in contact with school district officials in hopes of eventually becoming a sanctioned sport. 

“The three things that we wanted were to introduce lacrosse to Grove City and the South-Western community, to develop youths through leadership and teamwork in the sport and then to ultimately get the school district to accept it and recognize it as a school sport,” Stewart said. 

Stewart, however, realizes the club has several obstacles to clear. 

“They continue to give us some lofty goals that they want us to meet before they can consider it something that they will do,” he said. “We keep working on that and keep pushing on them to say it’s something that’s wanted and needed in the community.” 

Stewart said two of the district’s requests are to maintain sustained growth and eventually add a girls program at the prep level. He added that the club needs assistance from the district to promote the sport among girls. 

“We can field a 30-man high school (boys) team by word of mouth,” he said. “Girls programs are harder to build given the competition with other school activities.” 

Organizers first met in September 2015 to discuss forming a club before fielding two youth-level teams in 2016 in conjunction with the Hilliard Youth Lacrosse Association. There were teams participating at the third- and fourth-grade level and fifth- and sixth-grade level in 2017. 

The club has since grown to two teams at the grade-school level along with one each for middle-schoolers and high-schoolers. The youth level teams are comprised of boys and girls. 

There are 61 participants this year. The program high is 78 in 2019. 

“I’m thrilled with the way that we have progressed as a club,” Stewart said. “This was much faster progression than what we ever imagined. Originally the group of us that created this thought that it was going to be two years of third and fourth grade, two years of fifth and sixth grade, two years of middle school and we have excelled well beyond that.” 

The high school team, which is coached by John McBride, was 9-2 before closing the season by playing in a tournament at Olentangy the weekend of May 15. 

Grove City snapped a 4-all tie by scoring four goals in the final four minutes of an 8-4 win over the Westerville South j.v. team May 11 at South. It finished 2-2 against varsity teams. 

“The idea is to try to get lacrosse to continue to grow,” McBride said. 

The team played its home games on the soccer field at Grove City. 

Five players on the team have been in the club from the start: sophomores Luke Brinser (Grove City, attacker/midfielder), Kacy Perry (Grove City, defender/long-stick midfielder) and Ben Tschertan (Grove City, defender) and freshmen Luke Isaac (Grove City, attacker/midfielder) and Jon Magana (Grove City, goalie). 

Other players are seniors Nick Brinser (Grove City, midfielder/attacker), Drew Donahue (Grove City, midfielder/attacker) and Ty Wentzel (Teays Valley, attacker), juniors Drake Albright (Central Crossing, midfielder/attacker) and Alex Miller (Grove City, midfielder/attacker) and sophomores Nathan Hamilton (Grove City, attacker/midfielder), Kolin Hendrick (Central Crossing, midfielder/defender), Austin McKinney (Central Crossing, defender), Mason Moore (Grove City, defender), Brody Parsley (Grandview, defender/long-stick midfielder) and Nathan Thomas (Grove City, midfielder/attacker). 

Several players were members of the team that won the Division VI middle school state tournament in 2019 under McBride.

•The Grove City boys tennis team has enjoyed a solid season under second-year coach Josh Chandler.

The Greyhounds finished the regular season 10-5 overall and placed fourth (1-3) in the OCC-Ohio Division behind champion New Albany (4-0). 

“I was very excited about our final record,” Chandler said. 

Grove City opened play in a Division I sectional May 11 at Reynoldsburg, and top-seeded Abraham Houghland won his first three matches in singles to advance to a semifinal May 15 and secure a district berth. The top four finishers advanced to district. 

The district tournament is May 20 and 22 at Reynoldsburg, with the top four finishers in singles and doubles advancing to state May 28 and 29 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason. 

“You can never take away that Abe was the No. 1 seed at his sectional,” Chandler said. 

Also at sectional, Keegan Hix and Dylan McDougale went 1-1 and Carter Wassmuth and Brennan Lehman went 0-1 in doubles, and Owen Miller and Jesse Stevens went 0-1 in singles. 

Hougland won the first-singles title and Stevens finished second at second singles in the Teays Valley Invitational on May 1. 

—Frank DiRenna

•The Central Crossing baseball team received the 19th seed in the Division I district tournament and had a first-round bye.

The Comets opened May 19 against 27th-seeded Licking Heights or 33rd-seeded St. Charles. The winner plays top-seeded Olentangy Orange, 35th-seeded Chillicothe or 41st-seeded Columbus West in a district semifinal May 25 at the home of the better seed.

Central Crossing was 14-9 overall and 9-4 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Pickerington Central on May 13 and Groveport on May 14. 

Through 21 games, Benton Amon was batting .429 with 18 RBI and 13 runs, and Marquise Loring was hitting .408 with 19 RBI, 11 doubles, 17 runs and eight stolen bases. Chance Woods was hitting .383 with 10 RBI, 22 runs, nine doubles, 12 stolen bases and a .471 on-base percentage.

Hayden Thompson was batting .369 with 13 RBI, 16 runs and seven stolen bases, and Angel Abreu was hitting .295 with 16 RBI and six runs. Quintin Amon had a .275 batting average with eight RBI and 26 runs, and Kyle Martin was batting .256 with four RBI and 12 runs.

—Scott Hennen

Victoria Kellam and the Comets are competing in the Division I, district 2 meet May 18, 19 and 22 at Hilliard Darby. The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional May 26 and 28 at Pickerington North.

•Alec Boyd and Joey Taylor led the Central Crossing boys track and field team during a home meet May 4 against Briggs, Hartley and West.

Boyd won the 200 meters (24.33 seconds) and long jump (18 feet, 4 inches) as the Comets (87 points) were runners-up to Hartley (93).

Taylor was first in the 800 (2:11.14) and 1,600 (4:56.53), and Dylan Adams was first in the 400 (57.53) and second in the 100 (11.84). Xavier Valentine was runner-up in the high jump (5-0).

The girls team was second (43) behind Hartley (131), led by first-place finishes by Victoria Kellam (long jump, 11-6 1/4), Hannah Scoggin (1,600, 5:59.2) and Anay Sierra (3,200, 13:28.21).

The Comets are competing in the Division I, district 2 meet May 18, 19 and 22 at Hilliard Darby. The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional May 26 and 28 at Pickerington North.

—Scott Hennen

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