After graduating 10 seniors, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Wadsworth’s boys soccer team.
That hasn’t been the case as the Grizzlies (3-0-2) rallied back in three separate matches and forged a tie with always-powerful Massillon Jackson — a Division I regional finalist a season ago.
“We did graduate a lot of experience, but we brought back a lot of kids hungry to play varsity,” Wadsworth coach John Johnson said. “(Ryan) Bonzo and Ian (Johnson) have both started since their sophomore year, but every else is new.
“These guys are great because they don’t care who scores and there’s no inter-fighting among the team. Everyone has been working hard.”
The unselfishness has been shown in the Grizzlies’ first five games as five different players have scored, led by forwards Luis Escudero, Jon Davis and center midfielder Ian Johnson.
Along with spreading the ball around and the trademark defense that Wadsworth has been known for in coach Johnson’s tenure, it is another intangible that has made for an easy transition.
“They have a lot of fight in them,” the veteran coach noted. “We were down one to Firestone and came back to win. We were down one to Berea and tied them. And we were down one Saturday (versus Jackson) and earned a tie there. They have a lot of spirit.
“Every time you come back like that, it makes it more believable. You can do more than talk about it, you can do it,” he continued. “I love the way they’re progressing and we certainly haven’t reached our furthest potential.”
It has been a long wait, but a more complete roster for Buckeye’s girls took to the pitch last Saturday against Cloverleaf. Coach Bud Roberts got a chance to see a couple more players back in uniform and was pleased despite the 3-0 loss to the Colts.
The young team features one senior and three juniors in the starting lineup.
“We played well and their goals were from mistakes we made that are correctable,” said Roberts, whose team did play Alliance Marlington in the opener with a depleted roster. “The most important thing is we finally are getting some payers back and did not add any to our current injury list.
We will continue to improve and the attitude on the team was positive after the game.”
In the biggest game of the young season, Medina sophomore Marisa Scullin made an impact. The reserve defender got her first career start to allow Anna Boyert to regain some energy after finishing second at the Asics Hot Summer Bash in Hilliard earlier in the day.
“She was a monster in the back tonight,” Bees coach Doug Coreno said after his team’s 2-1 win over Pickerington North. “Defensively, we pride ourselves on playing as a team, and it’s always tough to single one person out because they play like such a unit.
“But man, Marisa was stuck in, winning tackles, giving cover… she might have been the player of the match.”
Brunswick defender Jon Zahn will undergo an MRI today on his knee that he injured in a 1-1 draw with Aurora on Thursday. The senior, who also kicks for the football team, could be out anywhere from 1-6 weeks, according to Blue Devils coach Bruce Miller, after the initial diagnosis of a bruise and torn cartilage. On a side note, junior Colin Curtis filled in for his fallen teammate Friday in the football team’s win over Euclid and honored Zahn by wearing his No. 4 jersey.
Á Cloverleaf starting defender Alana Ferrante is done for the season after tearing her ACL in a 1-0 loss to Medina. Ferrante, who was a member of the state champion Bees before transferring to Cloverleaf in the offseason, will have surgery today, according to coach Val Baughman.
The impact of Highland’s Jacob Naumann was felt last Thursday in a win over Canton GlenOak. Coach Billy Zufall moved the senior forward to the outside midfield in the second half and the adjustment paid off as the Hornets scored three times en route to a 4-3 victory.
• Speaking of the Highland boys team, its game at GlenOak starts a five-game road trip (Green, Marlington, Cloverleaf and Kent Roosevelt) over the next two weeks.
• Buckeye’s girls team has rescheduled its Patriot Athletic Conference opener with Brookside to Oct. 16. The Bucks will now open league play when they travel to Brooklyn Wednesday.
• Out of the county’s 12 teams, Cloverleaf’s boys are the only squad to have not played a home match.
The Colts will open the schedule at Gene Clark Stadium tonight when they face Tallmadge in SL play.
• If Cloverleaf’s girls team defeats Tallmadge on Wednesday, it will be the 200th career victory for Baughman. The reigning Division I Coach of the Year is the only coach the program has ever known, leading it to a 199-62-30 record in 17 seasons.
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.