In order to temper expectations to members of the Columbus Academy boys tennis team, coach Jeff Warstler admitted to using clichd coach speak.

In order to temper expectations to members of the Columbus Academy boys tennis team, coach Jeff Warstler admitted to using clichd coach speak.

The Vikings have won two consecutive Division II OTCA team titles, but extending that streak to three is not the only goal.

"You got to be careful," said Warstler, whose team opens Friday at home against Cincinnati Sycamore. "Sometimes kids tend to think in their head the only thing worth achieving is a state title. I don't see it that way. It is so hard to win one of those things. When you look at it as the only thing, you don't give yourself margin for error. I don't see it as not being successful if we don't win it."

In order to guard against his players embracing the mentality of state title or bust, Warstler wants his players to take one match at a time. It's clich, but Warstler believes it is the best course of action for the Vikings.

"We just have to focus on what is in front of us," Warstler said. "We're looking at Sycamore and the next day it'll be Louisville (Ky.) St. Xavier. We've got to keep the focus on right now."

Leading Academy's returning players are senior Eoghan Bahnson, senior Andrew Enslen and sophomore Chad Buchanan.

"We're going to go as far as Eoghan and Andrew take us," Warstler said. "They're seniors and they got to step up."

Enslen will begin the season at first singles, Buchanan at second singles and varsity newcomer Dan Leathery at third singles.

"Dan played on j.v. last year," Warstler said. "He's a good athlete and I like the things he does. That position will be a little fluid though. There are three to four guys that could end up in that spot."

At first doubles, Warstler paired Bahnson and sophomore Langston Hughes and at second doubles its sophomore Chris Perrini and freshman Abram Schottenstein.

Academy, which graduated four players in Michael Brown, Nate Chan, Joey Frank and Austin Griffin, finished 22-1 overall and first in the MSL-Cardinal/Ohio Division at 5-0 with 50 points last season. In the postseason, the Vikings sent three singles players and two doubles teams to the Division II state tournament.

Enslen and Frank lost to Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy's Alex Aleman and Lou Konstan 6-3, 7-5 in the doubles final.

"The new players need to develop, but the key is how much can Buchanan advance at No. 2 singles," Warstler said. "Newbies are going to make mistakes, but you know you're going to get some good things. Buchanan will be the big key. How big can he be at No. 2? Will he fill what Joey Frank did last year and Enslen did two years ago?"

•The baseball team does not lack talent according to coach Jim Collis. In fact, Collis said Academy's overall talent level appears to at least equal last season's team that finished 14-8 after losing to Heath in the second round of the Division III district tournament. In the MSL-Ohio, Academy earned its best conference record in five seasons at 7-7, behind champion Newark Catholic at 12-2.

"Comparing the kids from the talent standpoint, this group is as talented as we were last year," Collis said. "They may be better. But right now it's unproven. I'm hoping and I'm optimistic they will be as good or better than last year's team. There is no reason for them not to. Until we see it in games, though, you never know."

Academy opened last Wednesday against Horizon Science. It plays Bexley today, at Northridge on Friday, at Newark Catholic on Monday and at home against Heath on Wednesday.

Seniors Anthony Ciminello, Ben Krempley, Albert Lavin and Ben Nicola, juniors Kennedy Clark and Nick Sergakis, and sophomore Zach Ratcliff lead the group of returning players. Sergakis was first-team all-conference and second-team all-district as he hit .425 with 18 RBI. He pitched 32 2/3 innings, allowed 21 earned runs on 36 hits, struck out 33 and walked 26. Sergakis and Nicola will front Academy's pitching staff.

Also expected to see time on the mound are Krempley, Ratcliff and juniors Jon Dillon and Joey Bara.

Academy graduated seven players, including top pitchers Brian Black and Jordan Rhyne. Black was 5-3 with a 2.63 ERA as he struck out 33, walked 17 and allowed 14 earned runs on 31 hits in 37 1/3 innings pitched.

"I'm encouraged that these guys will continue to develop the way I think they can and give us a fighting chance," Collis said.

Defensively, Academy's captain, Ciminello, returns at second base and Lavin returns to third base. In the outfield, Clark will play center field while senior Andrew Maurer and sophomore R.J. Watters will see time in the outfield. Watters is also expected to platoon in the middle infield.

"We have a good nucleus," Collis said. "It's young and unproven so we'll have to wait and see how they develop. I'm cautiously optimistic."

At a glance

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

BASEBALL

Last Wednesday -- Played Horizon Science Academy in opener

*Today -- At Bexley

Friday -- At Northridge

*Monday -- At Newark Catholic

*Wednesday -- Home vs. Heath

*MSL-Ohio game

BOYS TENNIS

Friday -- Home vs. Cincinnati Sycamore in opener

Saturday -- At Sycamore vs. Louisville (Ky.) St. Xavier

Monday -- Home vs. Chillicothe

Wednesday -- Home vs. Wellington

GIRLS LACROSSE

Today -- At Thomas Worthington in opener

Tuesday -- Home vs. DeSales

TRACK & FIELD

Today -- At Bexley in opener

Tuesday -- At Hamilton Township with Amanda-Clearcreek

Boys Tennis

April 2 vs. Cincinnati Sycamore

April 3 at Sycamore vs. Louisville (Ky.) St. Xavier

April 5 vs. Chillicothe

April 7 vs. Wellington

*April 8 at West Jefferson

April 12 at New Albany

April 14 vs. Olentangy Liberty

April 17 vs. Hunting Valley University School

April 19 at Watterson

*April 20 at Whitehall

*April 22 vs. Granville

April 23 vs. Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit

April 24 at Toledo Maumee Valley Country Day with Toledo St. John's

*April 27 at Bexley

*April 29 at Grandview

April 30 at Cincinnati St. Xavier

*May 4 vs. Fisher Catholic

May 5 at Upper Arlington

May 6 at Lexington

May 8 at home MSL-Cardinal/Ohio tournament

May 12 vs. Centerville

*MSL-Cardinal/Ohio match

Baseball

March 31 vs. Horizon Science Academy

*April 1 at Bexley

April 2 at Northridge

*April 5 at Newark Catholic

*April 7 vs. Heath

*April 9 at Whitehall

April 10 vs. Utica

*April 12 vs. Granville

April 13 at Berne Union

*April 14 vs. Licking Valley

April 15 vs. Shekinah Christian

*April 16 at Lakewood

*April 19 vs. Bexley

April 20 vs. Fisher Catholic

*April 21 vs. Newark Catholic

*April 23 at Heath

*April 26 vs. Whitehall

April 27 vs. Columbus West

*April 28 at Granville

April 29 vs. Berne Union

*April 30 at Licking Valley

*May 3 vs. Lakewood

May 4 at Hartley

May 6 vs. Wellington

*MSL-Ohio game

Girls Lacrosse

April 1 at Thomas Worthington

April 6 vs. DeSales

April 9 at Bexley

April 13 vs. Columbus School for Girls

April 15 at Dublin Jerome

April 17 at Hannigan-Galipault Tournament

April 22 vs. New Albany

April 27 vs. Watterson

April 28 at Westerville Central

April 30 vs. Upper Arlington

May 4 at Wellington

May 6 vs. Worthington Kilbourne

May 11 at Hartley

May 12 vs. Westerville North

Track & Field

April 1 at Bexley

April 6 at Hamilton Township with Amanda-Clearcreek

April 10 at Ridgedale

April 15 at Hartley

April 17 at Liberty Union's Zuber Relays

April 21 vs. Whitehall and Northside Christian

April 24 at Bloom-Carroll Invitational

April 27 vs. Marion Pleasant and Columbus West

April 30 at Hamilton Township's Ranger Invitational

May 4 at Columbus School for Girls Invitational (girls only)

May 4 vs. Hartley and Ready (boys only)

May 8 at Newark Catholic Invitational

May 11, 14 at Newark Catholic at MSL-Ohio meet