Reynoldsburg High School boys golf coach Scott Walters likes the direction his program is going in even if there are some momentary rough moments.
On Aug. 7 in the first round of the six-team OCC-Ohio Division tournament at Darby Creek, the Raiders shot a 370 to finish last behind first-place Gahanna (300).
They also are coming off a season in which they went 0-20 in the four-round league tournament, behind champion Gahanna (17-3), and had their season end at the sectional level.
The positive side is that Reynoldsburg returns one of the area's top sophomores in Jamison Boykins and is starting to get more participation at the younger levels.
"We've started a club team at the junior high and have got six to eight kids involved in that," said Walters, who is in his third season. "We haven't offered that for some time and that hurts our program because you never know who's coming. Now we've got some really good kids way down the line. My assistant coach says a couple of them could rival Jamison by the time they get here."
Boykins finished fourth in the league last year with a 79.3 average. Then in a Division I sectional, he shot 79 to miss advancing by one stroke into a playoff with two other players to determine the final district-qualifying berth.
In the opening round of this year's league tournament, Boykins followed a strong summer in junior tournaments by shooting an 81.
He averaged 74 during the Raiders' two days of tryouts.
Seniors Trey Albert and Keean Durkin and junior Robbie Crawford also are returnees.
Freshman Alex Perez didn't compete in the opening round of the league tournament but is expected to be Reynoldsburg's No. 5 player.
"Last year we weren't very deep, and we're in a really tough division of the OCC so we want to try to move up," Walters said. "One of our goals would be to at least get in the middle of the pack in the (OCC-Ohio). It just depends on our third, fourth and fifth guys.
"We've got top-notch kids who are all 4.0 students, so working with them makes it more fun. We're a little thin, but we've got the freshmen and two other kids that are juniors that have just taken up golf but show some promise. This year they can learn and we'll get in some matches when we can and hopefully show them some new things for next year."
Tennis team expects to take more strides
The girls tennis team approached the .500 mark a season ago when it went from six wins in 2016 to finish 9-12 overall.
Nearly all of the Raiders' key players have returned, so they hope another step forward is on the way.
"I'm looking forward to having one of my strongest years in a long time," 15th-year coach Les Somogyi said.
The Raiders' opening matches Aug. 11 against Lancaster and Watkins Memorial in the Tri-County Challenge at home were canceled because of bad weather and won't be rescheduled.
Reynoldsburg went 0-5 in the OCC-Ohio last season and begins league play Aug. 23 at home against Gahanna.
Juniors Hannah Dodley and Feaven Gebrezgi, who teamed up to reach a quarterfinal in doubles in a Division I sectional last fall, are among the returnees.
Other returnees who competed at sectional include senior Alexa Matan and junior Hope Chaffin.
Senior Katelyn Whetsel was paired with junior Maelyn Cheng in doubles at sectional. Cheng is not back with the team.
Junior Abi Swift, who was planning to team up with Whetsel in the postseason but could not compete because of an injury, is back along with junior Nia Harris.
Senior Ciera Henry is a newcomer who previously attended Pickerington Central.
The other senior in the program is Nandi Rowe.
Senior Sarah Hoffmann, who was one of the team's top singles players the past two seasons, moved out of the district.
"Most of these girls are all-year players, so I'm very encouraged by them," Somogyi said. "It looks good. There's good team spirit."
Aug. 7 -- OCC-Ohio at Darby Creek
Aug. 13 -- OCC-Ohio at Apple Valley
Aug. 15 -- Westerville North at Royal American
Aug. 20 -- Newark at Trout Club
Aug. 23 -- Westerville South at Blacklick Woods
Aug. 25 -- Gahanna at Blacklick Woods
Aug. 28 -- OCC-Ohio at Denison Golf Club
Aug. 30 -- Watkins Memorial at Blacklick Woods
Sept. 4 -- Lancaster Invitational at Lancaster Country Club
Sept. 6 -- Newark at Blacklick Woods
Sept. 10 -- Hilliard Davidson at Thorn Apple
Sept. 12 -- OCC-Ohio at Turnberry
Sept. 13 -- Watkins Memorial at Cumberland Trail
Sept. 20 -- Westerville North and Westerville South at Royal American
Sept. 24 -- Hilliard Davidson at Blacklick Woods
Sept. 25 -- Gahanna at Little Turtle
Sept. 29 -- Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry
Aug. 16 -- vs. Westerville South
Aug. 21 -- vs. Central Crossing
Aug. 22 -- vs. Mount Vernon
*Aug. 23 -- vs. Gahanna
Aug. 25 -- Watkins Memorial Doubles Tournament
Aug. 27 -- at Bexley
*Aug. 28 -- at Grove City
Aug. 29 -- vs. DeSales
*Aug. 30 -- vs. Pickerington Central
*Sept. 4 -- at Pickerington North
*Sept. 6 -- vs. Lancaster
Sept. 11 -- vs. Big Walnut
Sept. 12 -- vs. Delaware
Sept. 13 -- at Canal Winchester
Sept. 15 -- Reynoldsburg Doubles Tournament
Sept. 17 -- vs. Franklin Heights
Sept. 20 -- vs. Westerville Central
Sept. 24 -- at Hilliard Darby
Sept. 25 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley
Sept. 26 -- vs. Marysville
Sept. 27 -- vs. Granville
Oct. 1 -- at Newark
Oct. 2 -- vs. Watkins Memorial
Below are the coming schedules for the Reynoldsburg boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Aug. 17 -- At Groveport
Aug. 17 -- At Groveport
Aug. 22 -- Home vs. Centennial
Aug. 21 -- At Newark