Despite losing five starters from a year ago to graduation, Columbus West High School boys tennis coach Bruce Duffner didn't expect his team to take a big step back this season.

Despite losing five starters from a year ago to graduation, Columbus West High School boys tennis coach Bruce Duffner didn't expect his team to take a big step back this season.

The Cowboys weren't able to defend their City League championship, but they've had several memorable moments and should have a bright future.

In the City League Coaches Tournament that concluded April 27 at Wolfe Park, junior Jamie Price beat his teammate, junior Demetrius Brown, 6-2, 6-3 in the final to win the singles championship.

The two are teaming up to play doubles in a Division I sectional that begins Thursday, May 12, and concludes Saturday, May 14, at Reynoldsburg.

Price was a doubles player a year ago.

"I've worked my butt off the last three years so I could compete with everyone else," Price said. "Me and my friend Demetrius have just been working our butts off. It was tough getting here, but these last three years have been a lot of work. I knew it would be tough to get here, but now I'm here."

On May 2, the Cowboys lost to Whetstone 4-1 in the City League championship match. Price lost to Winfield Slocum 6-2, 6-7, 6-4 at first singles, but Brown beat Kalman Buterbaugh 7-6, 2-6, 6-1 at second singles.

Other key players for West are seniors Quinton Gibson (third singles) and Brett Powell (first doubles), juniors Bryan Layman (first doubles) and Dejuantae Jackson (second doubles) and freshman Tariq Fort (second doubles).

Also at the sectional, Layman and Jackson are playing doubles and Fort, Gibson and Powell are playing singles.

"It was a strong senior class last year, but I knew (Price and Brown) were ready to step up and take over, and they've worked hard," said Duffner, whose team has competed in five consecutive City championship matches, winning three. "We've got guys who have developed a passion for it and have a desire to be good and carry on the tradition."

Briggs makes finals in baseball, softball

The Briggs baseball and softball teams both have earned another opportunity to win a City League championship.

The softball team likely will play at Centennial in the City championship game Wednesday, May 18, and the baseball team will play for the title May 19 at Whetstone.

The softball team had a 91-game City-South winning streak snapped when it lost to Eastmoor Academy 18-17 on May 5 to close the regular season at 16-9 overall and 13-1 in the league.

The Bruins trailed 18-9 before scoring eight runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, including five with two outs, but their comeback bid fell one run short.

Through 21 games, Emily Wickham was batting .621 with four home runs and 36 RBI and Pressley Rackham was hitting .453 with 21 RBI.

Briggs has competed in 10 City finals in a row but has lost the last nine City championship games, including last year when Centennial won 8-4 for its second consecutive title.

Seeded 30th in the Division I district tournament, the Bruins played host to 40th-seeded Dublin Jerome in a first-round game May 9. The winner played at fourth-seeded Teays Valley -- the defending state champion -- in the second round May 11. That winner advanced to a district semifinal Monday, May 16, at a site to be determined.

"We've been hitting the ball pretty well, so I'm happy with that," coach Herb Sharfenaker said. "We've cut down on our errors. Centennial lost their pitcher from last year, but they're still playing well. We'll have to play our best to beat them."

The baseball team was 17-7 overall and 13-0 in the City-South after beating Columbus South 15-4 on May 5.

Seeded 36th in the Division I district tournament, Briggs played host to 40th-seeded Franklin Heights in a first-round game May 9. The winner played third-seeded Olentangy Liberty in the second round May 11. That winner advanced to a district semifinal Monday, May 16, at a site to be determined.

Briggs has played in eight consecutive City finals, with its last win coming in 2008.

Track teams prep for postseason

The City League track and field meet was held May 9 and 11 at Eastmoor Academy.

The Eastmoor boys were the favorite heading into the meet and the girls also were expected to contend for the title after both won titles last season.

On May 4, the boys scored 118 points to finish first of seven teams in their home Warrior Relays while the girls placed third (77) of six teams, behind Hartley (110) and Centennial (80).

Among the athletes looking to have a strong performance in the City meet was Columbus East's Asa Burke, who was first in last week's area honor roll in the 200 meters (21.48 seconds) and was in the top 10 in the 100 (10.89). He won City titles each of the past two seasons in the 200 and also won the 100 last spring.