The Centennial High School boys tennis team has high expectations this season.

After finishing 7-6 overall, winning the City League-North Division title at 5-0 and losing to West 3-2 in the City final last spring, the Stars did not lose anyone to graduation.

"The goal for us is to win the City-North again and get back in the City final," 20th-year coach Barbara Stevenson said. "But that could be difficult because we lost to Whetstone 3-2 (in the season and league opener March 26). Last year we beat them (4-1) early in the season and that was the difference in the (City-North).

"It stinks when you play for a league title in your very first match. It was Whetstone's second match. We didn't even have enough good weather for challenge matches, so my lineup wasn't what I thought it would be. We could've won the match if my lineup was different."

In losing the first match, Stevenson said she has had to tweak the team's goals and try to lift her players' spirits.

"They were kind of depressed because they didn't play to their ability (against Whetstone)," Stevenson said. "That's all water under the bridge now. Now we're focused on winning the City coaches tournament championship, improving every day to prepare for the sectionals and having fun."

Returnees include seniors Tyrell Davis, Preston Newkirk, Dhrough Patel and Kitano Watkins, juniors Jack Jones and Spencer Newkirk and sophomore Andrew Smith.

In a Division II sectional last season at Columbus School for Girls, none of the Stars finished in the top four in singles or doubles to advance to district.

In singles, Watkins won his first two matches before losing in a district-qualifying match, while Jones went 1-1 and Spencer Newkirk lost in the first round.

In doubles, Preston New-kirk and Davis had a first-round bye and lost in the second round, and Patel and senior Sam Ferrell went 1-1. Farrell did not return to the team this season.

Completing the roster are sophomore Simon McKenzie and freshmen Aidan Ly and Max Wiseman.

"We have some very good young guys entering the program, so it's my job to get the young guys up to speed in order that they can fill open spots next year since we have so many seniors," Stevenson said. "Max is very good and Aidan also has been taking lessons for two years."

Wiseman opened the season at second singles behind Jones, while Watkins and Spencer Newkirk could share time at third singles. Patel is expected to be at first doubles, and Ly and Preston Newkirk began the season at second doubles.

The Stars were scheduled to return to the court April 9 against Thomas Worthington. They had not played since the opener, as bad weather and spring break kept them inactive.

Baseball team out to bumpy start

The baseball team was 1-5 before opening City-North play April 9 against Linden-McKinley.

The Stars lost to Hartley 10-0 in six innings April 5 and fell to Grandview 8-5 on April 6 as the Bobcats scored in every at-bat.

Girls lacrosse team loses first four games

The girls lacrosse team was seeking its first win of the season April 9 at Westerville South.

The Stars lost to Big Walnut 21-6 on March 28 and to Pickerington North 16-2 the next day to drop to 0-4.

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

Schedules

BOYS TENNIS

*March 26 -- at Whetstone

April 9 -- vs. Thomas Worthington

April 10 -- at Hilliard Davidson

*April 11 -- vs. Beechcroft

April 12 -- vs. Village Academy

*April 13 -- at Mifflin

April 16 -- vs. DeSales

April 17 -- vs. Hilliard Davidson

*April 18 -- at Northland

April 19 -- at Village Academy

April 23, 25 -- City coaches tournament at TBA

April 26 -- vs. Watkins Memorial

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Centennial baseball, girls lacrosse, softball and track & field teams:

BASEBALL

*April 13 -- Home vs. Beechcroft

*April 16 -- Home vs. Mifflin

*April 18 -- At Whetstone

GIRLS LACROSSE

April 12 -- Home vs. Bexley

April 14 -- Home vs. Big Walnut

April 16 -- At Gahanna

April 18 -- At Westerville Central

SOFTBALL

April 12 -- At Bexley

*April 13 -- Home vs. Beechcroft

April 14 -- At Dublin Scioto

*April 16 -- Home vs. Mifflin

*April 18 -- At Whetstone

TRACK & FIELD

April 14 -- Hank Smith Invitational at Heath

April 17 -- At Mifflin

*League contest