Upper Arlington Roundup: Hockey team expects another strong season

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Upper Arlington junior forward Sam Cannon tries to poke the puck away from Olentangy's Noah Loris during a game last season. Cannon and the Golden Bears hope to contend for CHC-Red Division and district championships.

The Upper Arlington hockey team doesn’t expect to match last year’s phenomenal start, at least yet.

But Golden Bears coach Hamish Baird and his players have a district championship in their sights — a goal they fell two wins short of last season — and feel they return the experience and depth to be a contender.

UA returns its top scorer in senior forward Will Cohen, its primary goalie in senior Garrett Alderman and a handful of other key contributors from last year’s team that went 36-0-1 before losing 3-2 to New Albany in a district semifinal.

“As far as I’m concerned, we have one of the best goaltenders in the state, a lot of strong leaders and players who know our expectations and how to live up to them,” said Baird, an assistant coach the past three seasons who succeeded Brett Howden in May. “We’re looking forward to a good year. We’re not setting our expectations so high as to go undefeated and win district. We’ll build and talk about our long-term goals. We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but we do have experience and we have depth.”

Cohen scored 35 goals last year and Alderman made 606 saves on 639 shots for a .948 save percentage.

Junior forward Sam Burns, who added 33 goals and 43 assists, is not with the team this year.

UA won the CHC-Red Division title last season. The Bears went 15-0-1 with 31 points to finish well ahead of runner-up St. Charles (24, 11-3-1-1).

The CHC has suspended games through November.

Senior Whitty Tevonian and junior Noah Domagalski return to lead a defense that also includes seniors Aidan Brennan and Nick Schumacher and juniors Rory Brennan and Will Stehle.

“I think we could be one of the most physical teams in the state,” Alderman said. “Our offensive presence will be a little different this year. We’ll have to work the corners and get some dirty goals. We won’t be a finesse team like we were before.”

Rounding out the roster are seniors Joey Hollard (forward), Aden Johnson (forward), Adam Karap (forward), Jack Norris (forward), Colton Paider (forward) and Andrew Sexton (goalie), juniors Nolan Adams (forward), Sam Cannon (forward), Carson Gresock (forward) and Max Robins (forward) and sophomores Charlie Linzell (forward), Jack Nolan (forward) and Tanner Stone (forward).

“Our goal is definitely to win a district championship, something UA hasn’t done (since 2007),” Tevonian said. “We have a lot of games to play until then, but that’s our biggest goal and then we’ll see what happens after that.”

Sophomore Ceylone Reighard-Brooks is one of only four players on Upper Arlington with varsity experience. First-year coach Abby Dorsainvil and her staff are installing a new offense that uses a more up-tempo approach.

Girls basketball team 

takes new approach

Just four girls basketball players entered the season with varsity experience, including two returning starters in senior guard Annie Hargraves (5-foot-6) and junior guard Alyssa Gest (5-6), and that is part of the reason first-year coach Abby Dorsainvil and her staff are installing a new offense.

Dorsainvil said the transformation to a more up-tempo approach was underway even before she succeeded 13-year coach Chris Savage in late September.

“We’re trusting the athleticism of our athletes,” Dorsainvil said.  “Even though I was in the program, we switched up a lot of what we’re running. The girls have been great with learning all the new stuff and figuring things out.”

Gest averaged 7.1 points last year, second behind 2020 graduate Adrienne Wachtman (7.3). Hargraves signed Nov. 11 to play lacrosse at Ohio State.

The other returning players with varsity experience are sophomores Sydney Callaghan (5-4, guard) and Ceylone Reighard-Brooks (5-7, guard).

UA spent two weeks in quarantine because of a COVID-19 case in the program, costing the Bears two of their three scrimmages. The school has suspended games through Dec. 17.

Rounding out the roster are senior Clara Gallapoo (5-8, guard) and juniors Jennifer Green (5-11, forward), Jodi Green (5-11, forward), Vivian Lawless (5-5, guard), Kate Leach (6-0, forward), Bridget Mitchell (5-4, guard) and Evie Sanford (6-0, forward).

Gallapoo is a Lindenwood lacrosse recruit.

“We can all fill a lot of spots easily,” Hargraves said. “Once (what we’re learning) clicks, it’s something that doesn’t go away.”

Savage resigned Aug. 31 after going 218-96 in 13 seasons, including Division I district championships in 2014 and 2016. Dorsainvil had been on staff as an assistant for three seasons.

UA was 10-13 overall and 5-5 in the OCC-Central last year.

“We have a lot of new people and not as much experience, but the new offense gives us more options,” Gest said. “We’re excited to see how far it will take us.”

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Coach: Abigail Dorsainvil, first season

Top players: Sydney Callaghan, Alyssa Gest, Annie Hargraves and Ceylone Reighard-Brooks

Key losses: Valerie Feller, Erisa Pippins and Adrienne Wachtman

Last season: 10-13 overall

2019-20 OCC-Central standings: Dublin Coffman (10-0), Hilliard Davidson (7-3), Marysville (6-4), Upper Arlington (5-5), Central Crossing (2-8), Westland (0-10)

2020 postseason: Lost to Dublin Scioto 43-25 in first round of Division I district tournament

HOCKEY

Coach: Hamish Baird, first season

Top players: Garrett Alderman, Sam Cannon, Will Cohen and Whitty Tevonian

Key losses: Sam Burns, Tim Kramer, Will Lawless and Duncan MacDonald

Last season: 36-1-1 overall

2019-20 CHC-Red standings: UA (31, 15-0-1), St. Charles (24, 11-3-1-1), Olentangy Liberty (23, 10-3-3), New Albany (21, 10-5-1), Dublin Jerome (18, 8-6-1-1)

*Note: The CHC-Red now consists of Jerome, Liberty, New Albany, Olentangy Orange, St. Charles and UA.

2020 postseason: Defeated Scioto 16-0; def. Oxford Talawanda 6-0; lost to New Albany 3-2 in district semifinal