It was a good 2014 for lacrosse at Indian Hill High School as the girls were Division II runners-up and the boys made the regional finals under Coach Tim McKay, falling to eventual Division II champions Mariemont.
The Braves had several victories over Division I opponents last season including Elder, Lakota East, Lakota West and Dublin Coffman. Three starters return from that 11-6 squad.
This spring, McKay will look for leadership from senior attackman Austin Schneider, senior face-off midfielder Samuel Markiewitz, senior defenseman Mitch Trout, junior goalie Cam McMillan and sophomore midfielder Owen Taylor. The Braves coach likes his team’s attitude and coachability.
Junior captain Cam McMillan mans the net now that Matt Young has graduated and is at Division II Florida Tech. Assisting Trout on defense will be juniors Grant Gottdiner, Jake Young and Kai Noahr along with sophomore Devin Heffernan.
At midfield, senior captain Markiewitz had 102 ground balls in 2014. Sophomore Taylor leads the midfielders along with juniors Otto Ackerman, Chuck Long and senior captain James Pflughaupt.
Offensively, Schneider had 15 goals and 29 assists last year. He’ll be joined on attack by juniors Davis McCoskey and Phillip Farist.
“This is a young team with only four seniors,” McKay said. “The junior class is very strong, as is the freshman class. The freshmen were part of last year’s Ohio Middle School championship team and come in used to playing at a high level. Several will contribute at the varsity level very quickly.”
After traveling to Elder April 15, the Braves return home to host Sycamore April 17 and Columbus St. Charles April 18.
“This team has a very tough schedule, playing 11 Division I teams and the cream of the crop in Ohio Division II Southwest,” McKay said.
Cincinnati Country Day is off to a decent start this season. Entering the April 8 game against Seven Hills, the Indians were 2-1 with wins against Clinton- Massie and Franklin.
That loss, a lopsided one, came against Summit Country Day.
Head coach Chris Stokley said his squad is off to a much better start than last year, and added that he likes the infusion of new talent.
“I think our energy is a lot better this season,” he said. “I think we can surprise some people this year.”
The Indians don’t have any seniors this year and will rely on Ian McInturf, Will Brady and Daniel Nesbitt on offense.
Stokley said Nesbitt, a freshman, has an exciting career ahead of him. Prior to the April 8 contest against the Stingers, Nesbitt had scored three goals on three shots.
On defense, CCD is anchored by defenseman Sam Jenkins and goaltender Jack Schiff.
“He’s an absolute stone wall,” Stokley said of Schiff. “Being a former goaltender myself, it’s exciting to see where he goes.”
The coach didn’t pinpoint a specific win threshold, but said anything was possible this year.
“We just want a winning season after winning only one game last year,” he said. “Next year, we’re going to add even more talent from the middle school, so a bright future could be ahead.”
Second-year Moeller High School lacrosse coach Sean McGinnis led the Crusaders to a 10-10 mark in his first campaign and second-place in the Greater Catholic League-South. An 8-7 overtime tournament loss to yearly GCL nemesis St. Xavier kept Moeller from a winning 2014.
McGinnis and Moeller will fire back with 11 returning starters from last year’s team. The defense features seniors Jack Toomb, Grant Clark, Noah Flynn and goalie Mitch Nietupski. At midfield are seniors Jacob Rogan, Grady Quinn, Nick Cinquinna, Eric Reynolds and Ethan Cook. On attack are senior Matt Gates and sophomore Cory Lockwood.
Toomb was an all-region defender last year and all-Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association who has committed to play at Robert Morris. Clark was also all-region and has committed to Siena College. Sophomore Lockwood is also on the radar of Division I programs and several juniors and sophomores are getting looks from colleges at various levels.
“Our strength will be our defense,” McGinnis said. “We’ll be able to be physical and dictate play on that side of the field. On offense, we’ll be young at the attack , but skilled and seasoned at midfield. It’s nice to know we’ll have plenty of legitimate scoring threats this year and not have to rely on a few players to score like last year.”
Much like most sports at Moeller, the schedule is aggressive. The Crusaders have already split with Louisville Trinity and Louisville St. Xavier. They also face teams from Indiana and Pennsylvania as well as three Columbus-area schools. Next on the agenda is the St. Xavier Bombers April 15.
The Crusaders have already defeated Seven Hills (14-3 on April 1) and will play Mariemont April 22, Elder May 6, Indian Hill May 11, Loveland May 13 and Lakota West May 16.
On May 9, Moeller will honor legendary coach Tom Kennedy, who passed away from Parkinson’s Disease in January, with a Play For TK Day. The plan is to raise money for a memory scholarship to honor his legacy. The Crusaders face Columbus DeSales at 3 p.m.
“Moeller football has Gerry Faust; we have Tom Kennedy,” McGinnis said.
Players to watch
Jack Toomb, senior, Moeller: All-Region defender, All-Region MSLCA. Committed to Robert Morris.
Grant Clark, senior, Moeller: All-Region defender committed to Siena.
Austin Schneider, senior, Indian Hill: 15 goals and 29 assists last season.
Samuel Markiewitz, senior, Indian Hill: 66 percent and 102 ground balls as face-off midfielder.
Cincinnati Country Day freshman Daniel Nesbitt: Scored three goals on three shots prior to April 8 contest against Seven Hills.