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Person out to make amends

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Brandon Person hopes he'll get a chance a few weeks from now in a Division I sectional boys tennis tournament to undo a what-if moment.

The fact he even has an eye on advancing to the district tournament is evidence that he believes shows the development of the Reynoldsburg High School program he's been a part of since his freshman season.

Person, who battled a knee problem late last season and played with a brace while losing to Westerville Central's Mitra Patel 6-4, 6-1 in a sectional quarterfinal, is playing second singles this spring and is the Raiders' only senior.

"I'm not too sure if I tore (my knee) or not because an X-ray didn't show it, but it was really inconvenient having to wear a brace," Person said.

"It's been kind of different the last couple years because we've grown into a team. It was more individual before that. We encourage each other to do better now."

Person split last season between second singles and playing doubles. He played third singles and some doubles during his first two seasons.

Sophomore Cameron Raglin, who is playing first singles, became the program's first state qualifier since 2005 a year ago.

With Raglin and Person leading the way, the Raiders went 20-3 overall last spring and placed second (60 points, 6-1) in the OCC-Ohio Division behind Pickerington North (63, 7-0).

Reynoldsburg went 2-5 in the league in 2010 and 4-3 in 2011.

"Anytime you can get 20 wins in a season, it doesn't happen too often," said Mark Mathias, who is in his 31st season as coach. "Last season kind of put us over the top. We just had a lot of parts fit well together and only lost one league match."

Because of spring break, Person and Raglin were among several players not available during the Raiders' wins over Fisher Catholic (4-1 on April 2) and Westerville Central (4-1 on April 3).

Reynoldsburg opened league action with a 4-1 win over Grove City on April 9 as both Person and Raglin won their first matches.

The Raiders then lost to Gahanna 3-2 in league play April 18 before defeating Worthington Christian 5-0 on April 19.

Like Raglin, Gahanna's first-singles player, Canyon Teague, was a Division I state qualifier last season. Worthington Christian's first-singles player, Joel Montgomery, was a Division II state qualifier.

Raglin lost to Teague 6-0, 6-3 on April 18 but beat Montgomery 6-4, 6-2 on April 19.

Person is the older brother of Diamond Person, a sophomore who played for the girls tennis team last fall.

"Our whole team spent a lot of time practicing last summer," Brandon Person said. "I'm just going to strive to do better. That's the only way to get through my senior year and have a nice chance to get to district."

Hitting improving for softball team

The softball team was 0-4 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Groveport on April 22 and Grove City on April 24. It scored four runs in three of its first four league losses.

"We're better than we were last year at this point, and I know we're hitting the ball better than last year," coach Rich Hogle said. "We're starting to put the ball in play better."

On April 6, junior Marissa Andrews (1B/C) homered once in each game as the Raiders lost to Centerburg 15-4 and 20-2.

Sophomore Bailey Long (INF/OF) has been another hitting standout, according to Hogle.

The Raiders beat Walnut Ridge 21-2 on April 9 for their first victory.

Their game April 11 against Worthington Christian, which won two games last season, was postponed because of bad weather. Hogle is hoping to get the game rescheduled.

Junior Savannah Hinkle (INF/OF) was a bright spot with her defense, according to Hogle, before sustaining a concussion against Walnut Ridge.

"We're still making the little mistakes," Hogle said. "The kids are working hard, but it seems like they get on the field and forget what they learned."

Baseball team struggling in league

After going 3-2 during its trip April 1-5 to Fort Walton Beach, Fla., the baseball team lost its first six OCC-Ohio games.

The Raiders were 3-9 overall and 0-6 in the league before playing April 22 at Pickerington North and April 24 at home against Pickerington North.

On April 17, the Raiders fell behind 3-0 after three innings and lost 7-1 to Gahanna. On April 19, they lost to Gahanna 11-1 in five innings.

Reynoldsburg opened league play April 8 by losing 10-0 to Grove City and then fell to the Greyhounds 16-1 on April 10. It lost to Pickerington Central 15-1 on April 15 and 18-1 on April 18.

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