for springboard from Cup

for springboard from Cup

Nick Wortman just wants the host Thomas Worthington High School boys tennis team to fit in at the Worthington Cup on Saturday.

Other teams in the field include Kilbourne, St. Charles, Upper Arlington, Olentangy Liberty, Hilliard Davidson, DeSales and Watterson. All teams in the field have produced at least one state qualifier in the past two years -- except Thomas. It hasn't had a state qualifier since Trenton Hayward in 2003.

"Hopefully we can change that this year," said Wortman, who will play doubles with Casey Cempre in the tournament, with Tyler Cempre playing singles. "There's no doubt it's going to be a very tough field for the Cup. All we can do is play our best, and who knows what can happen?"

Each school will have one singles entrant and one doubles entrant, with a blind draw, meaning top athletes can face each other early. Last year, DeSales' Bryce Warren, the eventual Division II state champion in singles, and New Albany's Skyler Engel, who won the Division II title in doubles with Peter Kobelt last year, participated in the tournament, and neither won a championship. Warren lost to Liberty's Arren Carter 6-2, 6-2 in the singles final, and Engel and Riyad Bennoui lost to Kilbourne's Nick Kowalczyk and Jonny Price 6-2, 4-6, 13-11 in the doubles final.

Liberty won with 15 points, ahead of Kilbourne (14), DeSales (12), New Albany (11), Thomas (7), Lancaster (6), St. Charles (5) and Upper Arlington (4).

"It's going to be a great day of tennis," Thomas coach Bobbie Davis said. "Our three guys will get a chance to face most of the strongest players in central Ohio so it's good preparation for the sectional, district and state tournaments. I think it'll be an excellent experience for these guys."

This will be Tyler Cempre's fourth appearance in the Cup.

"Tyler hasn't really told me much about what to expect," Casey Cempre said. "The only thing he has told me is to expect to play some of the best players in the area. The level of competition is going to be outstanding."

After winning the Cup last year, Kowalczyk went on to become Kilbourne's first state qualifier since Nick Newcomb (singles) and Jason Pedrick and Tyler Stephens (doubles) lost in the first round in 2004.

Kowalczyk and Price will play doubles again, and Kevin Metka will play singles at the Cup.

"Winning the tournament gives you a sense of accomplishment and a lot more confidence," Metzmaier said. "Doing well at the Cup is one of our early goals because it's a Worthington event, but we don't overemphasize because it's not a full team tournament."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Kilbourne and Thomas boys tennis teams:

KILBOURNE

April 3 -- Defeated Thomas 3-2

April 8 -- Def. Dublin Coffman 5-0

April 14 -- Def. Lancaster 4-1

*April 17 -- Def. Mount Vernon 5-0

Last Friday -- Lost to Cincinnati Seven Hills 3-2

Last Saturday -- Tied Hilliard Davidson for second (22) to New Albany (31) in Davidson Doubles Classic

Last Monday -- Lost to New Albany 3-2

Last Wednesday -- Played Watterson

*Today -- At Westerville South

Saturday -- At Worthington Cup

Monday -- Home vs. Davidson

Wednesday -- At Upper Arlington

*May 1 -- Home vs. Dublin Jerome

Of note: The Wolves were 5-2 overall before last Wednesday and are 1-0 in the OCC-Cardinal.

*OCC-Cardinal match

THOMAS

April 1 -- Def. Whetstone 5-0

April 3 -- Lost to Kilbourne 3-2

April 7 -- Def. Olentangy 4-1

April 14 -- Lost to Upper Arlington 4-1

April 15 -- Def. Gahanna 5-0

*April 17 -- Def. Delaware 5-0

Last Saturday -- Finished seventh (14) in Davidson Doubles Classic

Last Monday -- Lost to Olentangy Liberty 4-2

Last Tuesday -- Played Reynoldsburg

*Today -- Home vs. Marysville

Saturday -- Home Worthington Cup

Monday -- At Dublin Scioto

Tuesday -- Home vs. Groveport

*Wednesday -- At Central Crossing. The match was postponed from April 10.

May 1 -- At Westerville Central

Of note: The Cardinals were 5-4 overall before last Tuesday and are 1-0 in the OCC-Central.

*OCC-Central match