Luke Montgomery easily is off to his best start as a member of the Worthington Christian High School boys tennis team, having won five of his first six matches.

Luke Montgomery easily is off to his best start as a member of the Worthington Christian High School boys tennis team, having won five of his first six matches.

But coach Mike O'Donnell and Montgomery, a senior, agree that he hasn't even come close to reaching his potential.

"I need to be more aggressive every single match," said Montgomery, whose loss was to Wellington's Ian Wagner 6-1, 6-1 on April 14. "My aggressiveness is my Achilles heel. I need to consistently start strong and dictate the game rather than playing my opponent's game."

"He has incredible skills and instincts, but he hasn't played with the intensity that he is capable of," O'Donnell said. "A lot of times he'll allow his opponent to dictate the tempo of a match, but Luke doesn't get worried or flustered. He knows exactly how much time he has and how long it is going to take to get the win."

Montgomery said a 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 victory over Bexley's Preston Phillips on April 15 in a match that took two hours may have been a turning point. Montgomery outlasted Phillips, who qualified for the Division II state tournament in doubles with graduate Ryan Rauck last season, 10-8 in a tiebreaker.

"I wasn't expecting to win that match," Montgomery said. "Preston is a very good player. Picking up that win was good for my confidence and another step in the right direction."

Montgomery could be to the boys team what Christiana Raymond -- now a sophomore at Columbus Academy -- was to the girls team when she was a freshman. Like Montgomery, Raymond played first singles and served as an inspiration for an otherwise struggling team.

Raymond went 29-0 and defeated Richfield Revere's Stephanie Danesis 7-6, 6-4 in the Division II state final in 2006.

O'Donnell said he often uses Montgomery as an example of what to do on and off the court.

"Luke gives our program a lot of credibility," O'Donnell said. "We've got a lot of talent on this team, but it's very raw. Rather than over-coach them, I tell them, 'Watch what Luke does here.'"

"I definitely encourage the guys because I was in their spot, playing with guys who have more experience," Montgomery said. "But sometimes it is easier to take advice from the coach than a fellow player because pride might get in the way."

After playing second singles for most of last season, Montgomery was moved to the top spot after graduate Dustin Snow decided he was going to focus on doubles.

Montgomery was the Warriors' only district qualifier last year, lost to eventual state champion Bryce Warren of DeSales 6-0, 6-1 in a district quarterfinal. Warren lost only five games at district.

"That definitely motivated me," Montgomery said.

"I've been friends with Bryce for a long time. While losing to him was a disappointment, watching him do as well as he did last year definitely fueled my desire for this season."

Worthington Christian hasn't had a state qualifier since David Taylor in 2000.

Montgomery could do well in the Division II postseason.

Warren has graduated, as have those who finished third (Lovell Medcalf of Ironton) and the fourth (Tyler Adams of Wheelersburg).

New Albany, which had two of the four state-qualifying doubles teams, now is in Division I.

"I don't know what it is going to happen," Montgomery said. "A lot of how far you go in the tournament depends on your draw, but if I can play consistently, I think I can do well."

At a glance

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

BASEBALL

April 14 -- Lost to Shekinah Christian 3-2

*April 15 -- Defeated Ready 7-5. Jordan Doherty earned the win.

April 17 -- Def. Tree of Life 12-4

*Last Friday -- Lost to St. Charles 9-3

Last Saturday -- Lost to Bloom-Carroll 14-4; lost to Whetstone 5-0

*Last Monday -- Lost to Hartley 7-2

*Last Tuesday -- Played DeSales

Today -- At Columbus Academy

*Tuesday -- At Watterson

Saturday -- At Centerburg (doubleheader)

*Monday -- At Ready

*Tuesday -- At St. Charles

May 1 -- Home vs. Shekinah Christian.

Of note: The Warriors were 9-7 overall and 1-2 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

TENNIS

April 14 -- Lost to Wellington 5-0

April 15 -- Lost to Bexley 4-1. Luke Montgomery won at first singles.

April 17 -- Def. Grandview 3-2. Winners were Montgomery at first singles, Andrew Swetnam at third singles and Jonathan Kistler and Curtis Hahn at first doubles.

Last Monday -- Played Westerville North

*Last Tuesday -- Played DeSales in CCL opener

*Today -- At Watterson

Monday -- At Westerville Central

*Tuesday -- At St. Charles

*May 1 -- Home vs. Ready

Of note: The Warriors were 1-5 before last Monday.

SOFTBALL

*April 14 -- Lost to Hartley 12-0

April 17 -- Lost to Northridge 13-0

*Last Friday -- Lost to Watterson 17-1

*Last Monday -- Lost to Ready 14-0

*Last Tuesday -- Played DeSales

Today -- At Wellington

Friday -- At Tree of Life

Saturday -- At Northland

Monday -- At Horizon Science

Tuesday -- Home vs. Harvest Prep

*May 1 -- Home vs. Watterson

Of note: The Warriors were 0-7 overall and 0-3 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

TRACK & FIELD

April 15 -- Boys: Finished third (16) behind Reynoldsburg (86) and Hilliard Davidson (76); Girls: Finished third (15) behind Reynoldsburg (77) and Davidson (74)

Last Saturday -- Boys: Finished 18th (5) behind champion Hilliard Darby (64) at Dublin Coffman Classic; Girls: Did not score as Darby (106.5) won

Last Tuesday -- Faced Centennial and Columbus Academy

Friday -- At Russ Owens/Bexley Relays

Tuesday -- Home vs. Grandview and Johnstown

*CCL contest