Senior Philip Diaz is looking forward to graduating from Watterson High School, but he's hoping he will have a valid reason to miss the ceremony Saturday.

Senior Philip Diaz is looking forward to graduating from Watterson High School, but he's hoping he will have a valid reason to miss the ceremony Saturday.

He and his younger brother, Chris, will participate in the boys tennis Division I state tournament Friday and Saturday at Ohio State. The semifinal round is Saturday morning, the same time as graduation.

The Diaz brothers are the defending state champions, having beaten Cincinnati St. Xavier's Jonathan Gaffney and Marc Pretorious 7-5, 6-4 in the final a year ago.

"You only get the chance to graduate from high school once, but I'd rather still be playing tennis that day," Philip said. "I won't be too happy if I'm there (at the ceremony) because it would mean that we're out of the tournament.

"If we can win another state title, that would be the best way I can think of to celebrate my graduation."

The Diaz brothers are 13-1 together this season after going 18-0 last year.

They are trying to follow in the footsteps of graduates Denny English and Jason Homorody, who won state doubles titles in 1990 and 1991.

Chris said it's crucial that he and his brother both stay aggressive at the net.

"Our strategy is to get both of us to the net because we're a better team when we keep the pressure on the other team," he said. "We're both pretty good at finishing shots at the net when we're on."

Coach Barb Woods said it's equally important that the Diaz brothers don't let the pressure of trying to defend their doubles title get to them.

"Last year they played more loose, and I want them to relax and enjoy the moment just like they did back then," Woods said. "If they support each other and avoid getting upset with each other, they'll be tough to beat. When they focus and play their games, Chris and Philip can beat any team in the state."

The brothers went 4-0 in the district tournament last Friday and Saturday at Hilliard Davidson to win their second consecutive district title. They opened with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Davidson's Trent Searfoss and Kevin Blackstone, then beat Dublin Coffman's Pranav Magal and Daiki Kumasegawa 6-2, 6-2 in the second round.

In a semifinal, the Diaz brothers beat Upper Arlington's James Melvin and Billy Weldon 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.

"We played really well in the first set against UA, but we lost our focus after that," Chris said. "We knew we had to win the third set to advance, so we played with a lot more energy. It feels good to win when your back is up against the wall."

In the final, they beat Worth-ington Kilbourne's Kevin Metka and Jonny Price 6-3, 4-6, 11-9.

"The competition at district definitely was tougher than it was there last year," Woods said. "Worthington Kilbourne is good enough to make it to the state final four, too. Philip and Chris are just a little more experienced in playing tennis than they are and that's why we won."

Enzo Milano also competed at district, but opened with a 6-1, 6-2 loss to St. Charles' Kyle Gerber.

"Enzo played well," Woods said. "Gerber just has a little more experience as a singles player."

•The girls track and field team finished 12th (13.5 points) behind champion Hilliard Davidson (120) in the 15-team Division I district 2 meet that concluded last Saturday at Coffman.

The top four in each event qualified to the regional, which began last Wednesday and will conclude Friday at Pickerington North. Sylvia Zamora was Watterson's lone regional qualifier.

Zamora was third in the long jump (16 feet, 4 1/4 inches) behind Hilliard Darby's Shanee' Jackson (18-6) and Davidson's Brittany Cheese (17-6). From the regional, the top four will advance to state June 5-6 at Ohio State.

The boys team finished 17th (5) in the 17-team Division I district 2 meet behind champion Hilliard Darby (111). No Eagles qualified to regional for a second consecutive year.

•The boys volleyball team lost to St. Charles 25-22, 25-16, 25-21 in a Division II regional final last Saturday at Davidson to finish 19-8. The Eagles beat Dublin Scioto 26-24, 20-25, 25-17, 25-18 in a semifinal May 20 at Scioto.

•The fifth-seeded boys lacrosse team opened Division II regional tournament play last Tuesday against third-seeded Wellington.

The winner will play today in a semifinal at second-seeded New Albany or at home against seventh-seeded Bexley. That winner will advance to the final Saturday against top-seeded Granville, fourth-seeded DeSales, fifth-seeded Gahanna, eighth-seeded Olentangy Orange or ninth-seeded Johnstown, with the higher seed being the home team.

The winner of the regional final,will advance to a state semifinal Tuesday at UA against the winner of the Region 4 tournament.

The Eagles lost to St. Charles 16-2 on May 20 and to DeSales 16-5 last Friday to drop to 4-13.