Curran Gimeson is hoping to take his game to a new level this season for the Thomas Worthington High School boys golf team.

The senior is a two-time Division I district qualifier who just missed a state berth last season, as he shot a 75 at Apple Valley to finish one stroke shy of competing in a playoff for the second of two state berths.

"Curran is one of the best players I've had in the program in my 11 years as coach," Jay Addy said. "He is our captain and has put in a tremendous amount of work during the offseason. He is being recruited by several top college programs around the nation. I believe he could make a run at the state tournament this year after just missing last season. He is going to be extremely fun to watch."

The Cardinals opened Aug. 4 as host to the 15-team Thomas Worthington Preview at Delaware Golf Club. Curran was the overall medalist with a 70 as Thomas finished fourth (314) behind champion Olentangy (303), which won the fifth-score tiebreaker against Worthington Christian (303).

Junior Aaron Zeller shot a 76, followed by seniors Bailey Utterback (82) and David LaLonde (86). All three are returnees for the Cardinals, who lost only Gabriel Finch to graduation following last season when they went 15-9 in the four-round OCC-Cardinal Division tournament to place third behind Dublin Jerome (24-0) and Dublin Scioto (20-4).

"David has also been working hard on his game and had several low scores during summer tournaments," said Addy, whose team finished fourth (321) in the 14-team sectional at Turnberry last season to earn a berth at district, where it placed 10th (326). "He has grown his game tremendously over the past few years to become a consistent low scorer.

"Aaron also has a very solid all-around game and has been putting up very low scores this summer. He has gotten much taller and I look for him to contend for low individual in some tournaments this season. Bailey has gotten much more consistent with his game and I foresee us using his score often."

Rounding out the roster are senior Jake Savage and junior Adam Zeller.

"Depth is something our program is currently focusing on this season," Addy said. "I would like to see more competition at the top. Our goals are to finish in the top three in our conference and advance to district as a team for the second straight year."

The Cardinals shot a 312 in the first round of the OCC-Cardinal tournament Aug. 8 at Turnberry to place second behind Jerome (294) and ahead of Scioto (331), Kilbourne (339), Hilliard Bradley (345), Hilliard Darby (357) and Delaware (378).

Aaron Zeller led the Cardinals with a 74, followed by Gimeson with a 75.

In the second round Aug. 14 at Apple Valley, Aaron Zeller was medalist with a 69 and LaLonde shot a 73 as Thomas (299) placed second behind Jerome (295).

Xie returns for
girls tennis team

Sarina Xie is expected to lead the girls tennis team, which opens Thursday, Aug. 17, at home against Bradley in an OCC-Cardinal match.

Xie, a junior and two-time Division I district qualifier, lost 6-0, 6-1 to Pickerington North's Cassie Alcala in the first round at district last season after finishing third in the sectional at Upper Arlington.

"Sarina is our top player and is working hard to continue to improve," second-year coach Andrew Sinclair said. "We've got three other girls who have separated themselves from the rest of the group thus far, and they will be battling for singles positions.

"Overall, we're going to carry 10 girls and use a rotation at second doubles to enable us to gain experience and build for the future. I'm waiting for some of them to step forward."

The three players vying for the second and third singles spots are senior Montana Siddle, junior Ellie Brown and sophomore Riley Dodson. Last year, Brown and Dodson competed in singles in the postseason while Siddle played doubles at sectional.

Also returning are seniors Olivia Burrier and XiaoYa Zhang. They will be seeking doubles positions, along with seniors Emily Flottman-Mullen and Megan Roth, junior Anna Kravtsova and sophomores Sydney Cooke and Iris Gould.

"The good news about this group of girls is that they have tremendous camaraderie, so keeping around 10 of them on the roster and rotating will not be a problem," Sinclair said. "They are friends outside of tennis and are mutually supportive. They foster a great team spirit, which is tough to find in high school because you usually have some girls who train and play during the summer and are accustomed to playing for themselves.

"While it is an individual match on the court, high school is about the team and these girls recognize that. They all also get good grades. It's a great group and I'm looking forward to a drama-free season. Our goals are to beat the average teams and compete to the best of our ability against teams like Dublin Jerome."

Last season, the Cardinals finished 11-5 overall and went 4-2 in the OCC-Cardinal to place third behind Jerome (6-0) and Scioto (5-1).

McWilliams, Burris
to lead girls golfers

The girls golf team returned two starters and picked up three first-year players.

Senior Caitlin Williams and junior Megan Burris are back for the Cardinals, who went 2-26 in the four-round OCC-Ohio tournament last season to place seventh, behind champion Upper Arlington (27-1).

"We have some general goals for all of them," fourth-year coach Mike Crotty said. "We want them to have fun and improve. Megan and Caitlin are our top-tier girls, so we want them to push to qualify for district and state."

The newcomers are juniors Eva Baird, Grace Filicky and Rylee Morgan. Baird is a former track and field athlete, Morgan is a former volleyball player and Filicky formerly played soccer.

"The goals for our newcomers are to enjoy the season, improve and watch and learn from their competitors," Crotty said. "They have played other sports, but a few of them had injuries. Golf is a sport they can play for their entire lives, so I want them to relax, enjoy, improve and compete."

Burris (109) and McWilliams (111) competed in the 10-team Division I sectional last year at Mentel Memorial, where the Cardinals finished eighth (409).

Senior Leah Peters shot a 94 and junior Catherine Podolski carded a 95 to lead the Cardinals at sectional, but neither returned this season. Junior Kate Burnham, who had a 114, also did not return.

"I think Megan and Caitlin have an opportunity to get to district," Crotty said. "Caitlin is rapidly improving. The key for those two, as well as for all of them, is how well they chip and putt. They need discipline. Anyone can strike the ball. To be good, you've got to be competent and confident near the greens."

Burris was honorable mention all-league last season.

The Cardinals are competing in the OCC-Cardinal this season and shot a 547 in the opening round of the four-round league tournament Aug. 9 at Westchester to finish behind Jerome (303), Delaware (388), Bradley (396), Kilbourne (414) and Scioto (458). Darby did not have a team score.

McWilliams led Thomas with a 116.

The second round was Aug. 15 at Mentel Memorial.

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

Schedules

BOYS GOLF

Aug. 4 -- Thomas Preview Invitational at Delaware Golf Club

Aug. 7 -- Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry

Aug. 8 -- OCC-Cardinal at Turnberry

Aug. 9 -- Westerville Central Invitational at The Lakes

Aug. 10 -- Eagle Invitational at New Albany Links

Aug. 11 -- Mount Vernon Invitational at Chapel Hill

Aug. 12 -- Steve Youmans Classic at Oakhaven

Aug. 14 -- OCC-Cardinal at Apple Valley

Aug. 15 -- Dublin Invitational at Golf Club of Dublin

Aug. 19 -- Kent Miller Invitational at Hiawatha

Aug. 22 -- Olentangy Invitational at Oakhaven

Aug. 26 -- Pinnacle Classic at Pinnacle

Aug. 28 -- Pickerington Central at Clover Valley

Aug. 30 -- OCC-Cardinal at Darby Creek

Sept. 5 -- Lancaster Invitational at Lancaster Country Club

Sept. 9 -- St. Charles Invitational at Brookside

Sept. 11 -- Steve Godvin Invitational at Zanesville Country Club

Sept. 13 -- OCC-Cardinal at Clover Valley

Sept. 16 -- Howlett Invitational at Worthington Hills

Sept. 19 -- Olentangy at York

Sept. 23 -- Wedgewood Invitational at Wedgewood

Sept. 25 -- OCC Shootout at Moundbuilders

Sept. 27 -- Worthington Cup at Worthington Hills

GIRLS GOLF

Aug. 7 -- Hilliard Darby at Buck Ridge

Aug. 9 -- OCC-Cardinal at Westchester

Aug. 10 -- Tri-meet at Mentel Memorial

Aug. 14 -- Delaware at Mentel Memorial

Aug. 15 -- OCC-Cardinal at Mentel Memorial

Aug. 22 -- Hilliard Darby at Rolling Meadows

Aug. 23 -- Delaware at Oakhaven

Aug. 29 -- OCC-Cardinal at Royal American

Aug. 30 -- Dublin Scioto at Buck Ridge

Sept. 5 -- Tri-meet at Mentel Memorial

Sept. 11 -- Hilliard Bradley at Mentel Memorial

Sept. 12 -- OCC-Cardinal at Cooks Creek

Sept. 14 -- Lancaster and Olentangy Orange at Blackhawk

Sept. 18 -- Hilliard Bradley at Thorn Apple

Sept. 19 -- Hilliard Davidson at Buck Ridge

Sept. 21 -- Kilbourne at Tartan Fields

Sept. 25 -- DeSales at NorthStar

Sept. 26 -- Dublin Scioto and Kilbourne at Mentel Memorial

Sept. 28 -- Lancaster at Valley View

GIRLS TENNIS

*Aug. 17 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley

Aug. 21 -- at Grove City

*Aug. 22 -- at Dublin Jerome

Aug. 23 -- vs. Bexley

*Aug. 24 -- vs. Delaware

Aug. 25 -- vs. Village Academy

Aug. 28 -- vs. Watterson

*Aug. 31 -- at Dublin Scioto

*Sept. 5 -- vs. Hilliard Darby

Sept. 6 -- vs. Centennial

*Sept. 7 -- at Kilbourne

Sept. 9 -- Reynoldsburg Doubles Tournament

Sept. 11 -- Centennial at Antrim Park

Sept. 13 -- at Village Academy

Sept. 20 -- at Pickerington Central

Sept. 26 -- vs. Westerville Central

Sept. 27 -- vs. Olentangy Orange

Sept. 28 -- vs. Gahanna

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Thomas cross country, field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls volleyball, boys water polo and girls water polo teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Aug. 19 -- OHSAA Early Season Invitational at National Trail Raceway

FIELD HOCKEY

Aug. 21 -- Home vs. Olentangy

BOYS SOCCER

Aug. 22 -- At Centennial

GIRLS SOCCER

Aug. 18 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington

Aug. 22 -- Home vs. Worthington Christian

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Aug. 19 -- Home vs. Marion Harding

*Aug. 22 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley

BOYS WATER POLO

Aug. 18-19 -- Early Bird Invitational at Ann Arbor (Michigan) Huron

GIRLS WATER POLO

Aug. 18-19 -- Upper Arlington Invitational

*League contest