Senior Jeff Pitman of the Dublin Coffman High School boys tennis team wishes he could say he gave his best effort when he competed in the Division I district tournament last Friday and Saturday at Hilliard Davidson.
But after losing to St. Charles' Kyle Gerber 6-0, 6-1 in the first round, he admitted his heart never was in the match.
Gerber lost to New Albany's Peter Kobelt -- the eventual champion -- 6-3, 7-5 in the second round.
"Kyle played well and I was ready for my season to be over," Pitman said. "I lost my motivation when I saw that I was going to have to play Peter Kobelt to make it to state because he's a much better player than I am. (May 22) was my last day of school and I just wanted to be done with high school. I pulled a muscle in my back and in my side early in the match and that prevented me from using my first serve. After that, I kind of gave up. My coach (David Drees) and mom were upset with me for laying down and dying the way I did, but I didn't have much fight left in me."
The Shamrocks finished 10-6 overall and third at 3-2 with 38 points in the OCC-Buckeye Division behind Upper Arlington (5-0, 58) and Hilliard Davidson (4-1, 45), and ahead of Reynoldsburg (2-3, 21), Westerville North (1-4, 8) and Grove City (0-5, 5). At the league tournament May 10 at Davidson, Pitman (first singles) went 2-0 to place first. Sophomores Pranav Magal (second singles) and Eric Herzfeld (third singles), senior Yudai Oda and sophomore Daiki Kumasegawa (first doubles), and sophomore twins Justin Chee and Michael Chee (second doubles) went 2-1 to place third.
At the sectional May 16-17 at Davidson, second-seeded Pitman went 4-1 to place second and qualify to district for the first time. He beat DeSales' third-seeded Myles Harris 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in a semifinal and forfeited the final match to Olentangy Liberty's Arren Carter.
Pitman and Oda are Coffman's only seniors.
"We have a young team so everyone should get better, and they should be good next year," Pitman said.
•Jerome freshman Sean Stein lost to Thomas Worthington's Casey Cempre 7-5, 6-0 in the first round of the Division I district tournament last Friday.
Stein had a 5-3 lead in the first set, but Cempre dominated the rest of the match.
"He raised his level, and I dropped mine as the match went on," Stein said. "I didn't get to the net to volley enough in the second set. I tried to bang with him from the baseline and he had better groundstrokes. The baseline isn't my strength, so I should have come to the net more."
The Celtics finished 7-6 overall and third at 3-2 with 32 points in the OCC-Cardinal behind Worthington Kilbourne (5-0, 64) and Pickerington Central (4-1, 40) and ahead of Olentangy (2-3, 23), Mount Vernon (0-5, 10) and Westerville South (1-4, 6).
At the league tournament May 10 at Olentangy, Stein (first singles) and junior Ashish Agrawal (third singles) went 1-1 to place second and freshman Ryuji Odajima (second singles) and junior Han He and senior Chris Schneider (second doubles) went 2-1 to place third.
"Having our singles players and a doubles team medal in the OCC tournament was a big highlight," coach Chris Schill said.
At the sectional May 16-17 at Darby, second-seeded Smith went 4-1 to place second at singles. He beat third-seeded Chris Yoon of Kilbourne 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in a semifinal and lost to top-seeded Kevin Metka of Kilbourne 6-0, 6-3 in the final.
Stein was 15-6 at first singles and Agrawal went 13-5 at No. 3.
"All three singles players and our first doubles team (sophomore Yuki Kusumoto and He) are coming back, so our future looks very positive," Schill said.
•Scioto finished 5-12 overall and fourth at 2-3 with 21 points in the OCC-Capital behind New Albany (5-0, 65), Liberty (4-1, 43) and Big Walnut (3-2, 25), and ahead of Watkins Memorial (1-4, 17) and Franklin Heights (0-5, 4).
At the league tournament May 10 at New Albany, freshman Craig Zeid (second singles) and senior Alec Oh (third singles) went 2-1 to place third. Junior Prince Osemwengie (first singles) went 1-1 to place fifth.
"We won two third-place medals that we didn't anticipate in the OCC tournament, so that was a good day for us," coach Mike Wrigley said.
At the Division I sectional May 16-17 at Upper Arlington, none of the Irish placed in the top four to qualify to district. Zeid and Oh went 1-1 in singles.
"We progressed and played our best tennis at the end of the season," Wrigley said. "We've got several players who can come back, and there are a lot of good players at Davis Middle School, who we're hoping will move up and join our team next year."
Jerome's Sean Stein follows a shot last Friday during a district singles match against Thomas Worthington's Casey Cempre.
Coffman's Jeff Pitman returns a shot last Friday during his district singles match against St. Charles' Kyle Gerber.
At a glance
•Record: 10-6 overall, 3-2 with 38 points (third) in OCC-Buckeye
•Seniors lost: Yudai Oda and Jeff Pitman
•Key returnees: Eric Herzfeld and Pranav Magal
•Record: 7-6 overall, 3-2 with 32 points (third) in OCC-Cardinal
•Seniors lost: Tarek Hammond, Yuto Saito and Chris Schneider
•Key returnees: Ashish Agrawal, Ryuji Odajima and Sean Stein
•Record: 5-12 overall, 2-3 with 21 points (fourth) in OCC-Capital
•Seniors lost: Andy Chenevey, Josh Kim and Alec Oh
•Key returnees: Prince Osemwengie and Craig Zeid