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Watterson Roundup: Hockey Team Starts Strong – Sports – ThisWeek Community News



After a season in which it reached a 17th consecutive district championship game and came second in the district for the fifth year in a row, the Watterson hockey team has returned nearly all of its protagonists.

That experience has proved so far as the Eagles defeated Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame 4-1 on September 5 and Columbus Academy 3-1 on September 9 to improve to 6-0 overall before losing 1-0 to Thomas Worthington , a 2019. state semi-finalist, on September 11.

They defeated their first six opponents with a combined 29-3.

Watterson, who finished second (7-1) in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-East Division behind Academy (8-0) last season, is 3-0 in the league.

“So far, so good,” said 24-year-old coach Janet Baird. “I love where they are. I have a huge team with a lot of returners. I’ve got some great seniors back from last year’s district championships. They’ve all been here with their butts since June 1st.”

Senior forward Alex Picolo, who scored Watterson’s lone goal last season in a 2-1 overtime loss against Thomas in a district final, leads a seven-man senior class.

Senior Caroline Dunham is back with goalkeeper.

The other seniors are Lauren Neutzling (defender), Cailin O’Reilly (forward), Maddie Phillips (midfielder), Anne Marie Ruess (forward) and Audrey Schroeder (defender).

Juniors Grace Cantwell (forward), Zoe Coleman (forward), Camille Gregory (midfielder), Molly Griffith (midfielder), Claire Sugar (midfielder) and Makenna Twombly (forward) and sophomore Ava Gruver (midfielder) and Ellie Pardi (defender) also are important returnees.

Others in the team include juniors Fiona Isbell (midfielder), Kenna Ryan (defender) and Natalie Wallace (defender) and sophomore Lily Goodfellow (forward), Rachel Gora (forward), Avelinn O’Reilly (forward) and Sophia Schulteis (forward) .

“I have a lot of speed, so one of our strengths will certainly be speed this year,” said Baird. “Their work ethic is great. We have some growing to do and it puts you a little bit behind not to score, but I love their work ethic and I love their attitude and that’s half the battle there.”

Boy runners feel optimistic

After winning the CCL Championship and reaching the Division II encounter last fall, senior Will Garey is back to lead the boys’ cross country team.

Juniors David Druhan, Cris Kubatko, Max Latshaw and Jake Vanausdle have also returned for the Eagles, competing the following Saturday, September 19, in the Central Ohio Invitational at Three Creeks Metro Park.

“After several years where the boys’ team was forced to lead Division I due to combined enrollment, we are pleased to be back to our normal Division II level,” said coach Matt McGowan, who is in his 34th season. “If we can improve our numbers 4 through 7 like last year, we would love to compete for the CCL title again as DeSales and St. Charles look strong this year.”

Senior Joe Haemmerle, juniors Grant Gilsenan and Max Hall, and sophomore Finn Kephart were also among the top runners on the team.

Senior Joey DiOrio should also contribute. He took part in the ACT and did not participate in the 10-team Newark Catholic Invitational on August 29, as the Eagles finished second (91) behind Fredericktown (80).

Freshmen Danny Muldoon and William Short are others who hope to contribute.

Garey, who was second (16 minutes, 27.4 seconds) at Newark Catholic while Latshaw was third (5:00 pm, 24), ran to the state as a freshman when Watterson made it as a team. Last fall, he finished 48th (16: 44.8) while competing as an individual.

Girls run off to a strong start

There were 44 participants competing for the girls cross country team, which scored 37 points to beat DeSales (38) for last year’s CCL title and started this season scoring 60 points to the Newark Catholic Invitational of nine teams to win.

Freshman Lucy Ragiel ran 20: 54.46 to finish fourth at Newark Catholic.

“I’m sure the girls would love to keep improving throughout the season and compete for another CCL Championship,” said McGowan. “Division I girls are extremely competitive in central Ohio, as five of the top 20 teams in the state championships were from the Central District. If the team can stay healthy and continue to improve, they look forward to continuing. grow to the region. “

Sophomore Eden Brush won the CCL title and was a regional qualifier last season. Senior Averie Cunningham and juniors Riley Connors and Leah Hetteberg are also returnees.

Juniors Chloe Demboski and Olivia Oyster are also among the top runners on the team.

Others willing to contribute include seniors Brooklyn Brush and Emily Vais, juniors Bella Eramo and Marie Grassi, and freshman Ella Ruhe.

“You always want the seniors to complete their high school careers with great achievements,” said McGowan. “With everything going on, I feel that the team has been able to develop a solid foundation leading up to the start of the school year and look forward to improving during the season. The biggest problem so far has been the number of canceled invitations ., reducing the number of teams and athletes that can run in some competitions and some competitions not a (junior varsity) race. “

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