Khang Thai can't honestly remember when he got his nickname or where it even came from.

Khang Thai can't honestly remember when he got his nickname or where it even came from.

Most people who know him at Ready High School, where he's nearing the end of his senior year, call him "Do," which is pronounced like the word "dough."

There's no truth to the idea that his nickname represents what he turns his opponents into on the tennis court, although many might question the inference considering the success he has had.

After becoming the Silver Knights' first Division II state qualifier as a sophomore, Thai missed all of last season with a broken leg but has come back strong this season.

Thai won seven of his first nine matches, with his only losses during that span coming to state-caliber players.

He is planning to sign in early May with either the University of Toledo or Ohio Northern.

"It's been fun to come back out here this year," Thai said. "I feel like I'm playing really well after coming off my injury and I'm hoping to make the end of the season even better this year."

During a school retreat on March 6, 2009, Thai was playing a game with a soccer ball when two other players slid into his right leg.

The next day - which was supposed to be the first day of spring high school practice - he underwent surgery.

"I didn't even know it was broken at first," Thai said. "I tried to get up and my leg was kind of hanging there, but there wasn't any pain until two or three hours later. After that I had three hours a day of rehab and I was in and out of the gym every day."

Thai wasn't supposed to begin playing tennis again until September, but he felt well enough by last June to begin his comeback.

After being busy with tournaments throughout past summers, Thai didn't see his first tournament action again until last October.

"I had a really good social summer with a lot of down time with the family," Thai said. "I made sure I was really ready before I came back for my first tournament. I had a really good fall and won my first three tournaments."

His first big test of this season came April 13 when he lost to Watterson junior Chris Diaz 6-1, 6-1. Diaz teamed up with his brother, 2009 graduate Philip Diaz, to earn a runner-up finish in the Division I state doubles tournament last season.

Then on April 19, Thai lost to Wellington's Ian Wagner 6-0, 6-3. Wagner finished third at state last year in Division II singles.

Thai faced Wagner again last Wednesday.

As a freshman, Thai finished fourth in the Division II sectional and made it to the second round of the district tournament. He then went 18-4 as a sophomore, including finishing second in the sectional and third at district.

He beat Wagner in the sectional but lost to him at district.

"(Wagner is) stronger than when I played him as a sophomore," Thai said. "He and (Chris Diaz) are both juniors and both had good seasons this winter. It's just a matter of me staying healthy and just continuing to play well."

Ready coach Jen Donaldson, who also teaches Thai in an honors physics class, has coached him since his sophomore year.

In each of his prep seasons, he has mostly had new players around him and team victories have been few.

This season, Thai has helped mentor a squad that includes eight returning sophomores and a senior class that also features multi-sport athletes Eddy Bahen, Anthony Castorano and Pete Galentine. Sophomore Zac Wiser and Galentine, who are playing doubles together, are among those who have benefited from playing with the talented No. 1 player, according to Donaldson.

"(Thai is) a calm player and doesn't get frustrated much," Donaldson said. "He does have the endurance to last and has what it takes to be successful. He has a lot of strength and speed and he is a powerful hitter."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Ready baseball, softball, boys tennis and boys and girls track and field teams:

BASEBALL

April 13 - Defeated Marion-Franklin 14-1

*April 14 - Lost to Hartley 12-3

April 15 - Lost to Bloom-Carroll 15-8

*April 16 - Lost to Watterson 13-2

*April 19 - Lost to Worthington Christian 10-1

*April 21 - Lost to St. Charles 11-3

April 22 - Lost to Hilliard Bradley 11-9

*Last Friday - Lost to DeSales 17-3

Last Saturday - Lost to Granville 13-12

*Last Monday - Game against Hartley postponed

*Last Wednesday - Played Watterson

*Friday - Home vs. Worthington Christian

Saturday - At Thomas Worthington (DH)

*Monday - Home vs. St. Charles

Tuesday - Home vs. West Jefferson

Of note: The Silver Knights were 4-11 overall and 0-6 in the CCL before last Wednesday.

SOFTBALL

*April 14 - Def. Hartley 1-0

April 17 - Lost to Atwater Waterloo 3-0; def. Fisher Catholic 8-0

*April 19 - Def. Worthington Christian 13-0

*April 21 - Lost to Watterson 5-0

Last Friday - Def. New Riegel 14-1 at Stellar Classic

Last Saturday - Lost to Licking Valley 13-8 at Stellar Classic

*Last Monday - Game against Hartley postponed

*Last Wednesday - Played Watterson

*Friday - Home vs. Worthington Christian

Monday - At Jonathan Alder

*Wednesday - Home vs. DeSales

Of note: The Silver Knights were 6-7 overall and 2-2 in the CCL before last Wednesday.

BOYS TENNIS

*April 13 - Lost to Watterson 5-0

April 14 - Lost to Jonathan Alder 4-1

April 15 - Def. Franklin Heights 4-1

April 19 - Lost to Wellington 5-0

*April 20 - Lost to Hartley 4-1

April 21 - Lost to Grandview 4-1

April 22 - Lost to Jonathan Alder 4-1

Last Monday - Match against West Jefferson postponed

*Last Tuesday - Played St. Charles

Last Wednesday - Played Wellington

Today - Home vs. Lancaster

Monday - At Westland

*Tuesday - Home vs. Worthington Christian

Of note: The Silver Knights were 2-8 overall and 0-2 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

TRACK & FIELD

April 13 - Boys: Finished first (72.5) ahead of host Bloom-Carroll (48) and Bexley (42.5); Girls: Finished first (81) ahead of Bexley (55) and Bloom-Carroll (28)

April 16 - Boys: Finished fourth (26) behind Groveport (74), Westerville North (69) and host Hilliard Bradley (47); Girls: Finished second (59.5) behind Westerville North (64) and ahead of Bradley (58) and Groveport (35.5)

Last Saturday - Boys: Finished tied for second (108) with Columbus Academy in seven-team Bloom-Carroll Invitational behind Berne Union (130); Girls: Finished second (122) in seven-team Bloom-Carroll Invitational behind Columbus Academy (142)

Saturday - Boys, girls: At Anthony Wilson Invitational at Franklin Heights

*CCL contest