Spring Sports Previews


BEAVERCREEK — The Beavercreek and Carroll spring sports teams have managed to dodge the raindrops and snowflakes and get some games in.

Here is a preview of some of the teams.

Beavercreek boys lacrosse

The Beavers began the season 4-1 with the only loss coming by one goal to Westerville Central.

”This season offers great opportunity having eight out of 10 starters as returning seniors,” Coach Linden Kelley said. “Three of our boys are playing NCAA lacrosse next year. We also beat Oakwood for this first time ever this season, 12-9. Our goal this season is to earn a seed in the upper half of our division and see how far our play can take us in the postseason.”

The team is in its fourth year, second as a varsity team.

Beavercreek girls lacrosse

Beavercreek has nine key returning seniors, six of whom are four-year varsity players in Alyssa Hinton, Maddie Frye, Caitlyn Newport, Emily Mathes, Mackenzie Sorensen, and Claire Sturkol. The Beavers began the season 3-1 and are looking to build on last year’s 13-5 record.

“We are starting the season strong,” Coach Michele Sorensen said. “Our one loss was from the team we lost too in tournament. However, we only lost by one point this season as last year it was by more.”

Sorensen began the girls program at ‘Creek and is in her fourth season.

Carroll boys lacrosse

The Patriots are in their third season as a program and began the spring 3-0. Coach Ben Rulli, who began the program at his alma mater, has captains Cullin Walsh and Christian Nadeau leading the way. Nadeau, a senior, had 20 goals in the team’s first three games. Walsh, a junior, has been one of Carroll’s top defenders since his freshman year and is considered the 26th best recruit in Ohio by Laxrecords.com.

Having posted winning records in the previous two seasons, Rulli and the Patriots want to continue building off the positive momentum. Rulli said the future is bright for lacrosse in the Carroll community. Since beginning boys lacrosse, the school has added girls varsity and reserve teams, a reserve boys team, and a middle school boys team. Combined, there are more than 100 student-athletes playing lacrosse in the Carroll system.

”I am very proud of the foundation that we have built for lacrosse in our community and look forward to the continued expansion of the game,” Rulli said.

Carroll girls lacrosse

Carroll girls lacrosse is in its second year and is coming off a 6-8 record last season. The program has added a reserve team since the size of the combined teams has gone from 22 players to 38, according to Coach Michael Hilton, who is in his 30th season coaching lacrosse. All but one of the reserve players are new to the sport and the team has already won its first game.

The varsity squad includes 14 returning players and four new members. Carroll has opened with wins over Miamisburg and Fairfield. Players to watch on offense this season are last year’s leading scorer, sophomore Logan DeLisle (three goals and three assists against Fairfield), freshman Lilli Puckett (three goals against Miamisburg), senior attacker Emme Shannon, junior center Elizabeth Graham, and sophomore midfielders Madeleine Sanders and Cat McNamara.

On defense the Pats are led by junior goalkeeper and captain, Kayla Berry, and junior defenders Devyn Harvey, Jasmine O’Neal, and Jessica Egdotaye. Carroll has held opponents to five and seven goals respectively in the first two games. In lacrosse it is not unusual for both teams to score in double digits, Hilton said.

“All four players have improved dramatically since their first year playing together and are improving their lacrosse IQ with each game,” Hilton said.

The reserve team is coached by Craig Walters, and Jon and Lennie Berry who are varsity parents in their first year coaching lacrosse. They are assisted by student coach, Haley Ayers, a senior at Centerville High School, who trained with Hilton.

Beavercreek softball

Beavercreek has three seniors who are entering their fourth varsity season: Natasha Price; Tabitha Koetter; and Danielle Young.

Price (.311 average, 2 HR, 17 RBI in 2017) will be catching and playing left field, Koetter (.286, 12 RBI) will play first base with Young (.266 OBP) playing second base. Sophomore Maddie Neibert also returns after batting .353 with nine stolen bases last season.

The Beavers will count on pitchers Olivia Knight, Mariah Crawford, and Alyssa Lewis.

“Although somewhat inexperienced, especially on the mound, the Beavers will look to the three seniors for leadership and for the young players to come on strong,” Coach Paul “Joe” Martin said. “We are continuing to build a strong overall softball program at Beavercreek and will continue to work our way to the top of the GWOC. We are taking strides towards that goal.”

Beavercreek girls track

The Beavers were third in the 20-team Greater Western Ohio Conference meet last season, and have a chance to win it this year, according to coach James Weckesser.

Beavercreek has key returning seniors in Stephanie Pierce, a three-time All-Ohio performer in the 800- and 3,200-meter relay; and Sydney Cleverly, an All-GWOC performer and regional qualifier in the discus.

Sophomores to watch are Taylor Ewert, an All-American and state champion in the 3,200, Jodie Pierce, All-Ohio in the 3,200 and 3,200 relay, and Eileen Yang, All-Ohio in the pole vault with a 12-foot, 3-inch personal best.

Top freshmen include Julz Williams, middle school state champion for cross country and the mile and Ashtyn Gluck, middle school All-Ohio in the 400.

Junior Kenzie Kelley, who moved in from Texas, joins the squad. She was a state qualifer in the 200 and 1,600-meter relay.

Beavercreek boys track

The Beavers are the defending GWOC champion, but graduated 11 seniors who are now competing in college, Weckesser said. Despite that, he said they should still be a top-five team.

Senior Sam Pearl leads the returning performers. He was second in the state in the 400. Fellow-senior Damien Bonds was a state placer in the triple jump and high jump. Senior Fortune Ezeliora was a state placer in the high jump.

Also returning are throwers Caleb Fawley and Demetrius Hardamon, and sprinter Jordan Williams. They are among a group of football players who Weckesser is counting on to help the team.

Juniors include Riley Buchholz, a state qualifier in cross country; and Tyler Wasson, All-Ohio in pole vault.

Other football players include junior throwers Jacob Vocke and Jason Smith, and sprinters Maurice Wilson, Sebastian Rendon, and Brett Cherry.

Beavercreek volleyball

Beavercreek returns seven varsity players including senior outside hitter Parker Mikesh. The Ohio State signee led the team in digs and kills last year and is the best player in the region, Coach Carol Bysak said. Senior opposite hitter Michael Abbitt was second in kills last year, while junior Naumaan Hussain is the best setter in the region, Bysak said.

Other names to remember include senior middle blockers Landon Shoemake and Riley Bell.

The Beavers were regional champions and made it to the state tournament for the fifth time in the last seven seasons. They lost in the state quarterfinals. Beavercreek began the season March 27 with a 3-0 win over Fairmont.

Carroll volleyball

Carroll has set their sights high this season.

“Our goal is to compete in the postseason and come out of our region as the champion,” Coach Tim O’Brien said. “Our region is very tough with Alter and Fenwick so this season our goals will be to compete with both of those schools in the post season. We want to continue our growth and development of our players and integrate some of our new athletes.”

Fenwick knocked Carroll out last season in a five-set match.

Key returners include Spencer Bethel (1823 career assists), John Brun (332 career kills), Braden Hawkes (267 career digs), Evan Jones, and Braeden Shelek.

”We have a lot of upper-classmen mixed in with a handful of younger and inexperienced players,” O’Brien said. “We are getting everyone acclimated to a new culture with big expectations.“

Beavercreek tennis

The Beavers began the season with wins over Shawnee and Butler and have high expectations for the season, according to fifth-year head coach Eric Cusick.

“We … hope to challenge for the GWOC title,” he said. “We also hope to qualify multiple players for district and hopefully the state tournament for the first time in a while.“

Sophomore Austin Staiger returns at first singles. A district qualifier last season, he was one win away from state in doubles with Austin Chong.

Heidi Orloff, another sophomore, returns at third singles. A soccer player in the fall, Cusick said she was a “dominant” player last spring.

Seniors Curtis Guthrie and Vinodh Enukonda return at first doubles. They were district qualifiers and all-conference last season.

Senior Alex Riess will play second singles, having worked his way up from the bottom of the reserve team as a first-time player last season.

”He is one of the hardest working players in the history of our program,” Cusick said. “He has gotten up at 6 a.m. to play in the summer, hit for hours after practice, and has turned himself into a strong varsity tennis player and potential future college player.”

Carroll tennis

The Carroll team is on the rise, growing from eight players last year to 19 this year for second-year coach Andrew Farrell. He has first singles player Jonah Carter returning from last season. Carter, a junior, has an excellent game and understands strategy well, Farrell said. Second singles player Curtis Mackey is new to competitive tennis, Farrell said, but he has “everyone fired up.”

“We have a great deal of young and new talent,” Farrell said. “We are hoping to make an improvement on our record as this building process continues.”

Editor’s note: Not all coaches were available to preview their team as of press time.

Editor’s note: Not all coaches were available to preview their team as of press time.

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