With all but two players back from last season, the chances for the younger players on the Grove City High School boys tennis team to see much action were slim.

With all but two players back from last season, the chances for the younger players on the Grove City High School boys tennis team to see much action were slim.

But coach Ron Smith knew he would be losing several seniors from the doubles lineup, so he worked to get experience for as many players as possible. Fourteen players played in at least one match, and Smith said they showed signs that next season's team could be better.

"Every one of them who I've had step up and play a varsity match has come through and won," Smith said. "I really think that some of these players might even be a little stronger than what we had."

The Greyhounds had no one advance to the Division I district tournament, but they improved their league finish after finishing last or next-to-last for the past five years. Grove City finished sixth in the OCC-Ohio Division at 2-5 with 18 points, behind Gahanna (63), Pickerington Central (53), Pickerington North (53), Reynoldsburg (39) and Newark (26) and ahead of Lancaster (12) and Groveport (5). Smith said he believes the Greyhounds might be able to move up another spot or two in the league next season.

Grove City will lose five seniors. Bobby Bennett and Jason Geyer started for two seasons at first doubles and went 15-9 this season. Kaylib Johnson started at various positions for two seasons but primarily played second and third singles this year. Mulvany started most of this season at second doubles.

The Greyhounds also will lose senior Andrew Sokol, who saw some action at doubles.

Hemphill, a sophomore, is the top expected returnee after starting at first singles for a second season. He finished 12-7, but he was sick the week of the sectional and lost to Jordan Stanley of Westerville North 6-2, 6-4 in the first round.

Juniors Riggs and Tyler Andrick are expected back, along with sophomore Eli Monhemius. Andrick and Monhemius primarily played singles, and Riggs started most matches at doubles. Andrick and Riggs are two-year letterwinners.

Also seeing action were juniors Stephen James and Brandon Russell, sophomores Colin Randall and Colin Hopkins and freshman Joey Swavely.

"We're getting more kids trying out every year," Geyer said. "We've got some great kids over there, and they've got a lot of potential. It'd be nice if this levy gets back on and we get all the sports back, because they'd have a lot of talent."

•Central Crossing finished 3-9 overall but was 2-3 outside of the OCC-Central.

Central Crossing did win a league match, beating Westland 3-2 on May 1, but it could not hang onto the seventh spot at the OCC-Central tournament. The Comets finished eighth with seven points, behind Upper Arlington (73), Worthington Kilbourne (68), Dublin Coffman (54), Thomas Worthington (44), Hilliard Davidson (43), Hilliard Darby (18) and Westland (11).

"I explained to the kids, you take out our OCC and we were 2-3," coach Kert Lanam said. "So it was not the amount of matches that we wanted to play, but not a bad season given the weather and stuff. This is how we have to look at our season. We have to take the OCC out of it, because we're just not a factor in winning games in the OCC."

The Comets had just nine players on the roster and will lose two seniors, Joe Ramirez and Jake Shoopman. Both played doubles throughout most of the season. Shoopman was a three-year letterwinner and Ramirez was a two-year letterwinner.

Justin Burns, a junior, has started for three seasons and has been at first singles for the past two seasons. Burns, who missed the sectional, had five singles wins this year. Since moving to first singles as a sophomore, Burns has a team-best 11 wins. Juniors Caleb Gabriel and Mitch Gallo started most of the season at second and third singles, respectively. Both are two-year letterwinners.

The Comets also expect to return Redfern, a junior, along with sophomores Cody Haughn and Alex Rieser and freshman Brandon Kolesar. All four contributed in doubles this season, and all except Kolesar are two-year letterwinners.

"I think we're going to be a lot more competitive in the non-conference games with the improvement of these kids next year," Lanam said. "And I look forward to these guys working in the summer and through the winter again, getting some lessons and stuff that will help them a lot, too."

At a glance

CENTRAL CROSSING

•Record: 3-9 overall, 1-6 with seven points (eighth) in OCC-Central

•Seniors lost: Joe Ramirez and Jake Shoopman

•Key returnees: Justin Burns, Caleb Gabriel and Mitch Gallo

GROVE CITY

•Record: 8-7 overall, 2-5 with 18 points (sixth) in OCC-Ohio

•Seniors lost: Bobby Bennett, Jason Geyer, Kaylib Johnson, Josh Mulvany and Andrew Sokol

•Key returnees: Tyler Andrick, Joey Hemphill, Eli Monhemius and Chris Riggs