Depth may play a role in the success of the St. Charles Preparatory School tennis team.

Depth may play a role in the success of the St. Charles Preparatory School tennis team.

The Cardinals lost 2009 graduate and state qualifier Kyle Gerber as their No. 1 singles player, but competitive practices throughout the season should make this year's team stronger.

"(Gerber) was an elite player who pretty much guaranteed a win at first singles every time out," said second-year coach Linda Myers of Gerber, who lost to Lodi Cloverleaf's Ethan Dunbar 6-2, 6-4 in the opening round of the Division I state tournament. "You don't often get a player like that to coach. That's why our depth will play such an important role this year."

St. Charles finished 9-6 overall last season and went 4-1 in the CCL to share the title with DeSales and Watterson. It was the first CCL championship since 2003 for the Cardinals.

Senior Jack Toscano begins the season at first singles with junior Weston Niermeyer at second singles and junior Grant Dolven at third singles.

"Jack will be starting as No. 1, but he and Weston are neck and neck," said Myers, whose team opened last Monday with a 5-0 win against Westerville North and played Lancaster last Wednesday. "In the past week, Jack has been playing steadier, but if we have this conversation in three weeks, I wouldn't know who would have the edge then. They are pretty close."

Three sophomores -- Dennis Gleason, Scott Mazzata and Stuart Swartz -- will play doubles, along with freshman Kevin Smoot.

"We have a very deep squad and they have all improved through playing over the winter," said Myers, whose team begins spring break today and is off until April 13 when it begins CCL play against visiting Hartley. "My three phenomenal freshmen from last year are now spectacular sophomores and freshman Kevin Smoot is really a nice player in singles and doubles. We have a ton of depth and we will be able to use lot of different combinations."

Others in the mix are junior Christian Schneider, sophomore Michael Susa and freshman Trey Ward.

"We're looking forward to a successful season because these guys put in a lot of work on their own and we've had some really great practices," Myers said. "These kids can all beat each other on different days. Our 3-7 players, on any given day, those guys beat each other. So it will give us a lot of different options."

•The track and field team opened last Saturday in the Elk Relays at Centerville.

The Cardinals were sixth out of 17 teams with 41 points, behind champion Centerville (124).

"We're not up to 100 percent yet, but I like where we're at right now. Still, we can do a lot better," sixth-year coach Al Hostetler said. "We had some nice finishes including (junior) Chris Quinn, who won the 2,000-meter steeplechase (in 6 minutes, 45.81 seconds) and it was his first time in the event."

Quinn leads a group of distance runners that includes seniors Patrick Lynch and Kyle Nazario and sophomore Mitch Montgomery. Sophomore Stevyn Stees leads in middle distance. He was seventh (1:59.64) in the 800 in the state indoor meet March 20 at Akron.

Sprints will be led by senior captain Jake LeFleur, who also is a hurdler and long jumper. Seniors Denman Gordan and Steve Lutter are other key sprinters.

The Cardinals have 15 throwers, including seniors Breen Culvin, Matt George and Jordan Stumph.

"We have about 45-50 kids out and I think we're pretty comprehensive as a team," Hostetler said. "We're good in distance, throws, the 800, the 400 and in sprints. All in all, we have every event covered. We have depth and skill in all areas."

The Cardinals won the CCL meet last year with 133 points, ahead of two-time defending champion DeSales (111). Stumph won the shot put (44 feet, 2.5 inches) and Quinn won the 3,200 (10:25.89).

The Cardinals did not have a regional qualifier last year. They scored 22 points in the Division I district at Dublin Coffman to finish 11th out of 15 teams as Big Walnut (107) won.

Schedules

TENNIS

March 29 at Westerville North

March 30 vs. Lancaster

*April 13 vs. Hartley

April 14 at Bexley

April 15 vs. Upper Arlington

*April 20 vs. DeSales

April 21 vs. Dublin Coffman

April 23 at Wellington

April 24 at Worthington Cup

April 26 vs. Worthington Kilbourne

*April 27 vs. Ready

April 28 vs. Groveport

April 29 at Olentangy

*May 4 at Watterson

May 5 at Hilliard Davidson

May 6 vs. Gahanna

May 10 at Pickerington Central

*May 11 at Worthington Christian

May 12 at New Albany

*CCL match

TRACK & FIELD

March 27 at Centerville Elk Relays

April 6 at CSG vs. Hartley and Bexley

April 10 at Pickerington North for Stengel Relays

April 13 at CSG vs. Ready, Whitehall

April 23 at Bexley Relay and at Lancaster for Fulton Relays

April 27 at CSG vs. Watterson

April 30 at Huber Heights Wayne Invitational

May 5 at Marion-Franklin Relays

May 8 at Hilliard Bradley Invitational

*May 13, 15 at DeSales for CCL Meet

*CCL meet

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the St. Charles baseball, lacrosse and volleyball teams:

BASEBALL

Last Tuesday -- Played Whitehall

Last Wednesday -- Played Olentangy

Monday -- At Orlando vs. Bullitt (Ky.) East

Tuesday -- At Orlando vs. Palmyra (Va.) Fluvanna County and Virginia Beach (Va.) Ocean Lakes

Wednesday -- At Orlando vs. Bethlehem (Ky.) and Morganton (N.C.) Patton

LACROSSE

March 25 -- Defeated Granville 11-7 in opener

Last Saturday -- Def. Dublin Scioto 10-6

*Last Wednesday -- Played Westerville Central

April 9-10 -- At Saltsburg (Pa.) Kiski Prep Tournament

*Division 1, Central Region game

VOLLEYBALL

Last Friday-Saturday -- Def. Gahanna 25-22, 25-20 in the seventh-place match in Gold Division of home Cardinal Classic

*COVL match