Worthington Christian Roundup: 'Focused' boys golfers look to postseason
With most of its lineup returning from last season, the Worthington Christian boys golf program has picked up where it left off in terms of teamwork.
The Warriors hope to build enough momentum over the next few weeks that they'll put together a strong bid to make it to the Division III state tournament after placing third (323) at district last fall behind Wellington (314) and Fairbanks (323, finished second on fifth-score tiebreaker).
"I really like this team," fourth-year coach Zac Hess said. "We have really good camaraderie. Inwardly we really care about one another and that's more important than any score. I'm really impressed with how these guys have been bringing in the new guys and staying focused on their goals. I really hope we're the team representing the Central District at the state tournament this year. We've got to win at (district at) Denison (Golf Club) to get there, so our eyes are always looking toward that."
Worthington Christian finished fourth (3-9) in the MSL-Ohio Division last fall behind champion Columbus Academy (12-0) and third (321) in the league preseason tournament Aug. 5 at Westchester behind Academy (300) and Bexley (309) and ahead of Buckeye Valley (356).
Junior Sam Evans was medalist with a 72 and senior Ben Evans, his brother, finished second with a 73.
"We've gotten good senior leadership from Ben Evans," Hess said. "He's taken that captain role really well and he's motivated. These guys are following him really well."
The other returnees are junior Nathan Ball and sophomore Chase Steininger.
Seniors Drew Faieta and Ben King and freshmen Everett Burns and Caleb Chmielewski also are looking to contribute.
"The nice thing about high school golf is that we start competition right away," Hess said. "If we can kind of show and give all the credit to the host coaches and golf courses, they've been creative and I think players, coaches and families are just happy to play."
Seniors leading girls golf team
Of the five players who competed for the girls golf team in last year's Division II district tournament, two have returned.
The Warriors have added four new players, including a pair of seniors to a group that is led by senior Rena So.
"I have six players this year, which is awesome," second-year coach Hannah Bard said. "I feel like a lot of girls have stepped up to the plate, which is nice and really awesome."
So shot a 78 to earn a district runner-up finish in 2018 and then shot an 80 at last year's district event to place fifth.
Senior Zoe Holston is the other returnee.
Seniors Lilly Anne Marsh and Emily Weishaar and freshmen Jamie Custer and Lily Morgan round out the roster.
Worthington Christian finished fourth (452) in the first round of the MSL-Ohio tournament Aug. 11 at Turnberry behind first-place Columbus School for Girls (352) as So was co-medalist with an 81.
"We had three seniors last year and Lilly Anne has stepped up to be an anchor and is out there every single day, and so did Emily," Bard said. "Our hopes for the season are just to be competitive. Both freshmen girls played in eighth grade and they're not new to the golf scene, so it's putting our best foot forward and building up from taking these seniors and hopefully getting more from the middle school next season."
Tennis team returns veteran lineup
Of the girls tennis team's seven postseason competitors last season, five have returned.
In that group are senior Abby Mayotte and her sophomore sister, Meghan Mayotte, who are playing first and second singles, respectively. Last season, the sisters lost to Wellington's Alexis Burkhalter and Katie Zerbi 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-2 in the Division II district doubles final as only the champion advanced to state.
The Mayottes also lost to Burkhalter and Zerbi for the sectional title.
Worthington Christian, which finished 12-7 overall and 4-3 in the MSL-Ohio last season, opened with a 3-2 loss to Olentangy Berlin on Aug. 12.
The Warriors open league action Aug. 27 at home against CSG.
"We lost two seniors that were on varsity last year, so we've got a freshman and a sophomore in their places," said fifth-year coach Stefanie Mayotte, who is the mother of Abby and Meghan. "There's definitely not as much experience, but they're both eager and excited to be on varsity. I feel like our pairings are going to be good together and we struggled a little bit with our pairings last year, so I feel like we're going to stick with who we have playing together whereas last year we had to mix people around. I feel like we'll be more settled than last year."
Junior Audrey Mousa has returned at third singles, and junior returnee Bekah Shively is at first doubles with freshman Ella Rouse.
Junior Lily Rettstatt is teaming with sophomore Brianna Nowery at second doubles.
At a glance
*Coach: Zac Hess, fourth season
*Top players: Nathan Ball, Ben Evans, Sam Evans and Chase Steininger
*Key loss: J.R. Bowers
*2019 MSL-Ohio standings: Columbus Academy (12-0), Wellington (8-4), Bexley (6-6), Worthington Christian (3-9), Buckeye Valley (1-11)
*2019 postseason: Third at district
*Coach: Hannah Bard, second season
*Top players: Zoe Holston, Lilly Anne Marsh, Rena So and Emily Weishaar
*Key losses: Naysa Dunlap, Anna Opava and Natalie Opava
*2019 MSL-Ohio standings: Columbus School for Girls (16-0), Bexley (12-4), Buckeye Valley (6-10), Academy (3-13), Worthington Christian (3-13)
*2019 postseason: Third at sectional, sixth at district
*Coach: Stefanie Mayotte, fifth season
*Top players: Abby Mayotte, Meghan Mayotte, Audrey Mousa, Ella Rouse, Lily Rettstatt, Bekah Shively and Brianna Nowery
*Key losses: Laura King and Amber Ralston
*Last season: 12-7 overall
*2019 MSL-Ohio standings: Academy (7-0), Wellington (6-1), Bexley (5-2), Worthington Christian (4-3), CSG (3-4), Buckeye Valley (2-5), Grandview (1-6), Whitehall (0-7)