The Worthington Kilbourne High School boys golf team has returned four letterwinners and is hoping senior John Catanzarite takes his game to the next level this season.

Catanzarite, a two-time Division I district qualifier, was on the verge of a state tournament berth each of the past two years.

"I think this is my year," Catanzarite said. "I've played well over the summer and I hope to make a run for it this year and get to experience the state tournament. But that's down the road a bit. My main objective is to take every tournament, every match one at a time. I want to stay focused on every shot and not be looking ahead."

Last season, Catanzarite shot a 77 at district at Apple Valley to tie for 16th of 72 golfers, finishing four strokes shy of a playoff for one of two state berths.

"John is our top golfer again this season," 14th-year coach Gavin Meeks said. "He is a strong competitor and one of the top golfers in the area. He also has become a strong leader. He will be the anchor that keeps our team moving in the right direction. We want to see him get to that next level this time."

Catanzarite averaged 81.5 in the four-round OCC-Cardinal Division tournament last year to earn second-team all-league honors along with Carson Dougherty (83), who did not return for his senior season.

The other returnees are senior Evan Fisher, junior Garrett Meeks and sophomore Mark Towns. Meeks is the coach's son.

In last year's league tournament, Fisher averaged 84.8, Meeks averaged 88.8 and Towns shot 88 in his lone league round as the Wolves finished 11-13 to place fourth behind champion Dublin Jerome (23-1).

Also on the team are junior Jack Hale and sophomore Isaac Henry.

"Mark got a taste of varsity last year and earned a letter, but he wasn't a regular," coach Meeks said. "I think Isaac and Mark are very solid players for sophomores. They will provide great support to our upperclassmen. I look forward to watching their games improve."

The Wolves, however, lack depth, according to coach Meeks.

"We only have nine players," he said. "That limits our ability to change up the order much. Our goal is to get to district as a team. It has been nice to see John get to that level, but now we want to get our team there."

In the first round of the league tournament Aug. 7 at Apple Valley, Catanzarite shot an 81 as the Wolves finished seventh (349) behind Jerome (298), Olentangy Berlin (317), Delaware (319), Hilliard Bradley (323), Hilliard Darby (344) and Thomas (348) and ahead of Dublin Scioto (369).

In the second round Aug. 13 at Turnberry, Catanzarite carded a 78 as Kilbourne placed fifth (346) behind Jerome (296), Bradley (311), Berlin (319) and Delaware (330) and ahead of Thomas (350), Scioto (360) and Darby (362).

"According to (coach Meeks), we had our best first tournament in the past five seasons and that was a great step for us," Catanzarite said. "We can be outstanding. This team has so much potential. This is by far the best team we've had in the short game in my years here. But potential doesn't matter if we can't live up to it. We have to make sure we're in the right mindset every match day."

New girls golf coach concerned with depth

The girls golf team has its third coach in as many seasons, as Jon Baird replaced Kelly Kuhlman during the offseason.

Kuhlman led the program for just one year after taking over for Kevin Nourse.

Baird was an assistant with the program from 2001-05 and has been teaching in the school district since 2000.

Seniors Trixie Abbott and Jenna Mains and sophomore Hannah Kramer have returned, but Baird is concerned about the team's lack of depth as there are just four golfers on the roster. The other is sophomore Cassidy Oyer.

"There is no depth at this point, so we are still looking at individuals interested in playing a great sport that they can play the rest of their lives," Baird said. "We play a lot of nice courses and the schedule and time commitment allow for students to focus on their academics and other activities. Any girl who has a mild interest in golf should come out and give it a try. It's not too late.

"The main thing is for the girls to have fun. It's a lifelong sport they can enjoy with family and friends and also initiate good business contacts as they advance in school and in a career."

Last season, Kilbourne went 7-17 in the four-round OCC-Cardinal tournament to place fifth behind champion Jerome (24-0). Abbott and Mains both played three league rounds, averaging 98 and 117, respectively.

Abbott shot an 84 in the Division I sectional at Westchester last season to tie for 11th. She lost a tiebreaker to Teays Valley's Alle Sprague for the third and final district-qualifying berth.

"Trixie and Jenna are the golfers with the majority of experience and they will be carrying the team," Baird said. "Both are natural leaders, a joy to work with and they want to be part of getting more girls interested in golf to build the program. Trixie is the captain and has been golfing since seventh grade. Jenna has been playing since her sophomore year.

"Hannah and Cassidy will be counted on to be role models to grow the program over the next several years. We're also trying to build up the Worthington Middle School golf club team and interested girls should contact Greg Cotterman, who is a parent volunteer."

In the first round of league play Aug. 8 at Westchester, the Wolves shot a 459 to place fifth behind Jerome (338), Delaware (362), Bradley (388) and Scioto (426) and ahead of Darby (476). Berlin and Thomas did not have team scores.

Mains led Kilbourne with a 93, followed by Abbott (95), Kramer (126) and Oyer (145).

The second round was Aug. 15 at Royal American.

Girls tennis squad seeks improvement

The girls tennis team has struggled the past two seasons, combining for a 3-26 record.

But fifth-year coach Steve Metzmaier is hopeful that the Wolves will be much better this season.

"We've got four starters returning and all of them have improved significantly from last season," Metzmaier said. "They have some experience now and know what to expect. I believe we will be stronger than last year."

Last season, Kilbourne finished 2-12 overall and went 0-6 in the OCC-Cardinal to place sixth behind champion Jerome (6-0).

The returnees are senior Chloe Howard, juniors Libby Costello and Hannah Lindaman and sophomore Rhea Taneja.

Competing in the Division I sectional at Bradley last year, Costello went 1-1 in singles, Howard and Lindaman both went 0-1 in singles and Taneja paired with 2018 graduate Alysia Sanchez and went 0-1 in doubles.

Also lost to graduation were Kate Worster and Rose Hampshire, who went 1-1 in doubles at sectional.

Rounding out the roster are junior Elisa Elliott, sophomore Wonnie Kim and freshmen Eva Bomsta and Ellie Needleman.

Metzmaier wasn't sure how the lineup would be constructed early in the season. The Wolves opened Aug. 11 in the Delaware Invitational and begin league play Thursday, Aug. 16, at Jerome.

"Although we are still far from a powerhouse, our depth should be much better this year," Metzmaier said. "I think we have a schedule where we can be competitive in most of our matches. We still have to face a very strong league schedule.

"Right now, I'm not sure how we're going to set our lineup. We're still working on that."

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

Schedules

BOYS GOLF

Aug. 4 -- Thomas at Delaware Golf Club

Aug. 6 -- Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry

Aug. 7 -- OCC-Cardinal at Apple Valley

Aug. 8 -- Warhawk Invitational at Rattlesnake Ridge

Aug. 9 -- Upper Arlington at Darby Creek

Aug. 10 -- Mount Vernon Invitational at Chapel Hill

Aug. 11 -- Steve Youmans Classic at Oakhaven

Aug. 13 -- OCC-Cardinal at Turnberry

Aug. 14 -- Dublin Coffman Invitational at Golf Club of Dublin

Aug. 18 -- Kent Miller Invitational at Hiawatha

Aug. 29 -- OCC-Cardinal at Darby Creek

Sept. 1 -- Upper Arlington at Pinnacle

Sept. 4 -- Lancaster Invitational at Lancaster Golf Club

Sept. 8 -- St. Charles Invitational at Brookside

Sept. 10 -- Steve Gdovin Invitational at Zanesville Country Club

Sept. 12 -- OCC-Cardinal at Denison Golf Club

Sept. 15 -- Rodney Butt Classic at Denison Golf Club

Sept. 20 -- Gahanna at Little Turtle

Sept. 22 -- Howlett Invitational at Worthington Hills

Sept. 24 -- OCC Shootout at Moundbuilders

Sept. 29 -- Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry

GIRLS GOLF

Aug. 6 -- Gahanna Invitational at Jefferson

Aug. 7 -- Westerville North at Royal American

Aug. 8 -- OCC-Cardinal at Westchester

Aug. 10 -- Panther Invitational at Turnberry

Aug. 13 -- Dublin Scioto at Millcreek

Aug. 15 -- OCC-Cardinal at Royal American

Aug. 21 -- Big Walnut at Oakhaven

Aug. 23 -- Granville at Denison Golf Club

Aug. 27 -- Delaware and Gahanna at Worthington Hills

Aug. 30 -- OCC-Cardinal at Cooks Creek

Sept. 5 -- OCC-Cardinal at Mentel Memorial

Sept. 10 -- Delaware at Oakhaven

Sept. 17 -- Westerville North at Worthington Hills

Sept. 18 -- Hilliard Darby and Lancaster at Rolling Meadows

Sept. 25 -- Gahanna at Kyber Run

Sept. 27 -- Dublin Scioto at The Ridge Golf & Gardens

Oct. 6 -- Pickerington North Fall Classic at Cooks Creek

GIRLS TENNIS

Aug. 11 -- Delaware Invitational

Aug. 13 -- vs. Bloom-Carroll

Aug. 15 -- vs. Big Walnut

*Aug. 16 -- at Dublin Jerome

*Aug. 21 -- vs. Hilliard Darby

Aug. 22 -- at Westland

*Aug. 23 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley

*Aug. 28 -- at Dublin Scioto

*Aug. 30 -- at Delaware

*Sept. 4 -- vs. Olentangy Berlin

*Sept. 6 -- at Thomas

Sept. 12 -- at Canal Winchester

Sept. 13 -- vs. Groveport

Sept. 15 -- Wellington Cup

Sept. 17 -- at Granville

Sept. 19 -- at Pickerington Central

Sept. 20 -- at Whetstone

Sept. 25 -- at Westerville North

Sept. 26 -- vs. Ready

Oct. 1 -- vs. Grandview

Oct. 2 -- at Mount Vernon

*League contest

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

FIELD HOCKEY

Aug. 20 -- Home vs. Dublin Coffman

*Aug. 22 -- Home vs. New Albany

BOYS SOCCER

Aug. 23 -- At Westerville Central

GIRLS SOCCER

Aug. 21 -- Home v. Westerville Central

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Aug. 21 -- At Dublin Jerome

BOYS WATER POLO

Aug. 17-18 -- Knight Invitational at Toledo St. Francis

GIRLS WATER POLO

Aug. 17-18 -- Upper Arlington Invitational

*League contest