In 2014, the Reynoldsburg High School girls tennis program had just four players come out during the preseason and ended up with only eight by the end of the season.

The Raiders, from a numbers perspective, have taken a drastic turn for the better since that time.

There are now 23 players in the program, and none of the nine players expected to compete on varsity are seniors.

"I'm in such an encouraging position," 14th-year coach Les Somogyi said. "This coming season and next season are going to be (strong) seasons. I feel like it's my turn."

The Raiders opened Aug. 16 at home against Watkins Memorial and begin play in the Division I Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament Tuesday, Aug. 22, at Hilliard Bradley. They open OCC-Ohio Division action Aug. 24 at Gahanna.

Junior Sarah Hoffman and sophomore Hope Chaffin were the top players a year ago and are expected to be again this season.

In a Division I sectional at home last year, they lost in the second round in doubles after splitting time at first singles during the regular season.

Junior Alexa Matan, who lost in the second round of sectional in singles, also could end up as one of the singles players after having a strong offseason, according to Somogyi.

Junior Katelyn Whetsel and sophomores Maelyn Cheng and Abi Swift are other returnees. Whetsel teamed with 2017 graduate Noel Boykin to reach the second round of sectional in doubles.

Also looking to contribute are sophomores Hannah Dodley, Feaven Gebrezgi and Nia Harris.

The Raiders went 6-16 overall and 0-5 in the OCC-Ohio last season, but split their final four matches of the regular season. They won four more matches than in 2015.

"These girls are pumped," Somogyi said. "I'm on cloud nine for seeing how hard they've worked ... and I expect these girls to produce. Every team goes through ups and downs and I've had my downs, but I've stumbled on a group of girls that have worked hard, plus the numbers are incredible. We've even got 10 on our junior high team."

Newcomer boosts
boys golf team

Second-year boys golf coach Scott Walters knew he might be getting a talented newcomer even before freshman Jamison Boykins entered high school.

Boykins, who practiced with the Raiders during the summer before his eighth-grade year, will play in the No. 1 spot this season.

Reynoldsburg opened Aug. 7 in the 14-team Columbus Academy Shootout at Columbus Country Club and placed 11th (366) behind the champion and host Vikings (291).

"Jamison played tournaments all summer and was 1-over (par) for nine (holes) for a tournament he was in," Walters said. "He's played since he was 5 years old and is really serious."

Boykins joins a team that has two returnees in juniors Trey Albert and Keean Durkin.

In the OCC-Ohio last season, the Raiders tied Pickerington Central for fourth at 6-14 as Albert averaged 90.6 to finish third on the team behind 2017 graduates Reece Strohm (80.6) and Zac Peters (87.7). Strohm, who shot 77 to tie for 10th in a Division I sectional but lost in a one-hole playoff to advance to district, now plays basketball for Walsh University.

Senior Tanner Wooddell, who played football last fall and also is among the school's top boys competitors in swimming and volleyball, is out for the first time. During tryouts, he posted the team's third-best score behind Boykin and Albert.

"I don't know how much he's played, but he could be a really good golfer," Walters said.

Also on the team are sophomore Robbie Crawford, who should be a regular competitor, and junior Seth Bennett.

The Raiders began league action Aug. 8 by placing sixth (366) behind first-place Pickerington North (317) in the first round of the four-round OCC-Ohio tournament at Darby Creek.

"The best thing about being a golf coach is that they're all good kids," Walters said.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

Schedules

BOYS GOLF

Aug. 7 -- Columbus Academy Shootout at Columbus Country Club

Aug. 8 -- OCC-Ohio at Darby Creek

Aug. 14 -- OCC-Ohio at Apple Valley

Aug. 17 -- Newark at Blacklick Woods

Aug. 19 -- Gahanna at Blacklick Woods

Aug. 24 -- Watkins Memorial at Blacklick Woods

Aug. 28 -- DeSales at Blacklick Woods

Aug. 30 -- OCC-Ohio at Clover Valley

Aug. 31 -- Hilliard Davidson at Thornapple

Sept. 5 -- Westerville South at TBA

Sept. 7 -- Watkins Memorial at High Lands

Sept. 12 -- Westerville North at Blackhawk

Sept. 13 -- OCC-Ohio at Turnberry

Sept. 18 -- DeSales at Champions

Sept. 20 -- Newark at Moundbuilders

Sept. 23 -- Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry

Sept. 25 -- Big Walnut at Royal American

Sept. 26 -- Gahanna at Little Turtle

Sept. 27 -- Westerville North and Westerville South at Blackhawk

GIRLS TENNIS

Aug. 16 -- vs. Watkins Memorial

Aug. 17 -- vs. Newark

Aug. 22 -- at Hilliard Bradley in OTCA tournament

Aug. 23 -- at Mount Vernon

*Aug. 24 -- at Gahanna

Aug. 26 -- Watkins Memorial Doubles Tournament

Aug. 28 -- at DeSales

*Aug. 29 -- vs. Grove City

Aug. 30 -- vs. Bexley

*Aug. 31 -- at Pickerington Central

*Sept. 5 -- vs. Pickerington North

Sept. 6 -- vs. Hamilton Township

*Sept. 7 -- at Lancaster

Sept. 9 -- Reynoldsburg Doubles Tournament

Sept. 11 -- vs. Canal Winchester

Sept. 12 -- vs. Northland

Sept. 13 -- vs. Zanesville

Sept. 14 -- at Big Walnut

Sept. 15 -- vs. Westerville South

Sept. 19 -- at Westerville North

Sept. 25 -- at Delaware

Sept. 26 -- at Marysville

Sept. 27 -- at Watkins Memorial

Sept. 28 -- at Teays Valley

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules

for the Reynoldsburg cross country, boys soccer and girls volleyball teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Aug. 21 -- New Albany Invitational

BOYS SOCCER

Aug. 22 -- Home vs. Groveport

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Aug. 19 -- At Franklin Heights

Aug. 22 -- Home vs. Newark

Aug. 23 -- At New Albany