Evelyn Pauquette is in her fourth season playing with the Central Crossing High School girls tennis program, but one of her most fulfilling activities during that time has come through helping others.
During her sophomore year, Pauquette started assisting students with disabilities through the Cross Cat program, which is short for cross-categorical special-education classroom.
She continued to donate her time as a junior and plans to as a senior during the next semester when she has more free time. The program was shifted to Grove City this fall.
"I really enjoy working with the Cross Cat program, where I'm helping kids with learning and physical disabilities," said Pauquette, who is in her second year playing first singles for the Comets. "I work with English and history teachers and help (the students) with whatever they do in class."
On the court, Pauquette goes up against the best that opponents have to offer. Coach Lauren Hendricks said Pauquette has shown great leadership under that pressure.
"I think even when I started as coach last year, I could see that Evelyn really brought a sense of leadership," said Hendricks, whose team was 3-5 overall before playing Bloom-Carroll on Sept. 10 and 0-3 in the OCC-Central Division before playing Hilliard Davidson on Sept. 11. "She knew how to play tennis. She had played for a couple of years so she had that experience under her belt and she's not afraid to take girls under her wing. She makes sure everyone feels included, helps them out and lets them know what is going on."
Pauquette started playing tennis as a freshman with the help of her older sister, Faith, a 2014 Central Crossing graduate.
"I have played all four years and my sister used to play here," she said. "I think our season is going well. We are winning more than we did last year (when the Comets finished 4-12)."
Hendricks said Pauquette is looking to play tennis in college and continues to improve her game.
"Evelyn's serve and her forehand are really good," Hendricks said. "If her serve is on game and is really low, she can ace on the best of them.
"Her backhand is not as strong as it could be. It's about getting the racket in the right place. She has great footwork so she is always in the place she needs to hit the ball. It's really just about getting low and getting some top-spin on the ball."
Pauquette wants to major in special education, and her work with the Cross Cat program provides a head start.
"I really enjoy helping with the Cross Cat program and I want to be a special-needs teacher," she said. "I just think it's fun and I want to do that. It's a good learning experience."
Girls soccer team aims to get into rhythm
The girls soccer team is looking to get on a hot streak in the OCC-Central portion of its schedule.
The Comets were 2-2-1 before playing Hartley on Sept. 11. They open league play Thursday, Sept. 13, at home against Upper Arlington.
Central Crossing had neither won nor lost consecutive games entering the week. It opened with a 1-0 loss to Columbus Academy on Aug. 21 before defeating Marion Pleasant 9-0 on Aug. 23.
The Comets then tied Grove City at 1 on Aug. 28, defeated Lancaster 2-1 on Aug. 30 and lost to Reynoldsburg 4-2 on Sept. 4 in three contests against OCC-Ohio teams. Freshman forward Georgia Lakso had both goals against Reynoldsburg, and goalkeeper Brittany Hanson had six saves.
Central Crossing's game scheduled for Sept. 8 at Big Walnut was postponed because of poor field conditions and will be made up Oct. 6.
Boys runners finish with pack mentality
Three members of the boys cross country team finished seventh through ninth to lead the Comets in the Licking Heights Invitational on Sept. 4.
Michael Fry (seventh, 19 minutes, 6.5 seconds), Avery Wright (eighth, 19:16.3) and Dominic Manson (ninth, 19:24.7) paced the Comets, who finished fourth (86 points) of nine teams behind champion Groveport (42).
Noah Reardon (25th, 20:16.9), Joey Taylor (41st, 21:24.7), Jake Archer (66th, 23:34.3) and Austin Vazquez (77th, 24:19.8) also competed.
Mia Martinez (27th, 27:08.3) and Rachel Sinyuk (28th, 27:11.6) led the girls team, which finished fifth (151) of six teams behind champion Granville (24).
Below are the coming schedules for the Central Crossing cross country, boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 15 -- Otterbein Invitational
Sept. 18 -- Thomas Worthington at York
*Sept. 13 -- At Upper Arlington
Sept. 18 -- Home vs. Grove City Christian
*Sept. 13 -- Home vs. UA
Sept. 18 -- At Groveport
Sept. 13 -- Home vs. Grandview
Sept. 18 -- Home vs. Canal Winchester
*Sept. 13 -- At Hilliard Davidson