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."
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.
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
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
Below are the coming schedules
for the Reynoldsburg cross country, boys soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Aug. 21 -- New Albany Invitational
Aug. 22 -- Home vs. Groveport
Aug. 19 -- At Franklin Heights
Aug. 22 -- Home vs. Newark
Aug. 23 -- At New Albany