Three weeks into the season, Delaware Hayes High School boys tennis coach Dan Morrison has his lineup mostly figured out.
With juniors John Homan, Nathan Bonofiglio and Nate Miklas filling the three singles spots, respectively, the Pacers were 4-5 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Capital Division after losing to defending league champion New Albany 5-0 on April 18.
Through eight matches, Bonofiglio had four wins, Miklas had three and Homan had two.
"I don't expect a lot of juggling the rest of the season," Morrison said. "The guys are progressing nicely. We had some holes to fill, especially in singles, and, given those circumstances, they're doing fine."
Morrison acknowledged that Homan isn't always the best player on the court on a given day, but said Homan earned the first singles position.
"He has some real good groundstrokes. He is a fluid player," Morrison said. "Playing No. 1 singles is a different position. He'll see a lot of guys better than he is, and he knows that. But all of that is going to make him better throughout the year.
"Nathan is a natural athlete with a lot of innate skill. In terms of his competitive edge, it's tough to match him. He has a real fire to win within himself, but you'll never see him get angry on the court. He's really been strong, and that's helped give us a lot of stability."
Doubles has been a bit more fluid. While juniors Paul Claymier and Jason Watkins have been at first doubles most of the year thus far, the second-doubles pairing remains unsettled. Senior Thomas Lenhart and freshman Brandon Becker comprise the primary pairing at second doubles, but seniors Jim Brennan and Noah Friz also have seen time on that court.
"We've been able to experiment a little bit there and get some different guys some experience," Morrison said. "Their skill sets are close."
Track teams looking to run
Girls track and field coach Andy Graham and his boys counterpart, Jim Bibler, were eager to see how their teams would fare in the Chieftain Relays on April 19 at Bellefontaine not for any particular competition, but for any competition at all.
Entering that meet, three of the Pacers' first four meets had been canceled because of bad weather. Delaware participated in the Red Edwards Golden Eagle Relays on April 13 at Big Walnut, but its meets at Bellefontaine Benjamin Logan on April 2 and Hilliard Bradley on April 9 were called off.
A dual meet April 16 at Licking Heights was called off about an hour after its scheduled 5 p.m. start because of thunderstorms.
"We just have to get some competition in right now," Graham said. "We've put in time in the weight room and some on the track. You can practice, but you just can't get those sprints and relays down until you're actually in a meet."
In the Golden Eagle Relays, the boys team scored 29.5 points and placed ninth behind champion Big Walnut (91) as 14 teams scored and the girls team finished 10th (26) behind champion Big Walnut (92) as 14 teams scored.
The only first-place finish by the Pacers was the boys 1,600-meter relay of seniors Skyler Helmaci and Cole Millet and juniors Brendan Conley and Tyler Treese (3 minutes, 36.7 seconds).
"There are always those few guys who step up and surprise you," Bibler said, mentioning Treese and two other sprinters, junior Nick Shaver and freshman Ethan Tucky.
Shaver and Tucky are football players and Shaver is in his first season competing in track and field.
Graham said junior Emily Richards, who placed eighth (53.89) in the Division I regional meet last season at Pickerington North, hopes to return to action in the coming weeks. She has been sidelined with a nagging knee injury.
Baseball team seeks more victories
The baseball team fell to 2-7 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Capital with a 4-3 loss at New Albany on April 17.
Junior Colin Reed pitched a complete game, allowing only three hits, but the Pacers were held to three hits and committed four errors.
Delaware travels to Olentangy Orange on Monday, April 22, and plays host to the Pioneers on Wednesday, April 24, in league games. The Pacers then will try to complete a home league game with Watkins Memorial on Thursday, April 25.
The contest against Watkins Memorial began April 10 but was suspended because of bad weather. It was resumed April 16, only to be suspended again because of the weather.