Fifth-year coach Bob Markin is taking a wait-and-see approach with his Westerville North High School boys golf team.
The Warriors have only one senior in Josh Brown and one other varsity returnee from last season in junior Preston McCallum. However, they also should get a boost from Pierre Southibounnorath, a junior who competed as a freshman but did not play last fall.
"We have four guys that I think can score, but they need to be consistent," said Markin, whose team did not have a Division I district qualifier last season. "We're looking to improve and see where we are at midseason and work to get ready for sectional."
As the lone senior, Brown knows his leadership is even more essential.
"I have to help out with the younger guys and help to keep them focused," he said. "We're not experienced as a team and I have to make sure we keep going and stay positive. If they have a bad shot, they have to put it behind them and just worry about the next shot."
Juniors Bentley Corson, Parker Degler and Ryan Saleme were in the program last season. Sophomore Elijah Rex and freshman Nick Timbrook also are in the program.
"We're young, but I think we are energetic and we have a lot of enthusiasm," Markin said. "They have a lot of determination and they work hard. They have their work cut out for them, but they have the potential to be a good team.
"We look for leadership from Josh and we should see some improvement from Bentley and Preston. We'll see because we're playing in a lot of tournaments in the first few weeks."
North tied South for fifth (2-18) in the OCC-Buckeye Division last season behind champion Olentangy Liberty (19-1).
The Warriors finished fifth (388) in the opening round of the four-round league tournament Aug. 8 at Turnberry behind Liberty (298), Olentangy Orange (308), Olentangy (310) and Central (323). South did not have the necessary four players for a team score.
Southibounnorath, who led North with a 79, "really worked on his game over the summer and was good in tryouts for us," Markin said. "He has come back strong for us."
Brown was next for the Warriors with a 94.
"It was a pretty tough start (to league play)," he said. "I shot a 43 on the front (nine) and then did not chip well on the back (for a 51). We just have to put that behind us and stay positive."
In the second round Aug. 14 at Clover Valley, North placed fifth (380) behind first-place Liberty (302).
Girls tennis team
returns three starters
Seniors Gabrielle Cochran, Reilly Cochran and Kaley Cossette all return for the girls tennis team after starting last year, but coach Rob Carlson said his lineup was still undetermined entering his fourth season.
"Gabrielle, Reilly and Kaley were the only ones back from my top seven last year," said Carlson, whose program did not have a Division I district qualifier last fall. "The lineup is still up in the air in terms of varsity spots. We have some strong upper-level j.v. players able to step up into doubles spots."
Seniors Arianna Guerra and Tatiana Slesnick and junior Maddie Jones all are in the mix to play varsity.
"We're looking for the seventh varsity player and we have a lot of girls to choose from to compete for that spot," said Carlson, whose team finished 5-11 overall last season and was fifth (1-4) in the OCC-Buckeye behind champion Liberty (5-0). "This group is very focused and they have a good attitude. They're probably the most focused girls group I've had since 2014. They pay attention at practice and definitely try to get better."
Rounding out the roster are seniors Lizzy Edwards and Uvena Paul, junior Charlotte Miller, sophomores Sophia DiCarlo, Madie Poling and Anyce Sewell and freshmen Kayla Cochran, Elise McGann, Aubrey McMahon and Emma Weisgerber.
"All of the girls are contributing in one way or another and they are eager to learn," said Carlson, whose team opened Aug. 12 by finishing second (21 points) in the six-team Delaware Invitational behind Olentangy (35). "We have a lot of girls still trying to get down the proper technique because they have just started to play."
to aid girls golfers
Third-year girls golf coach Betsy Beaver said she has a small but enthusiastic group of players who have worked on their games in the offseason.
Juniors Amelia Bernard, Ella Holtzmuller and Lauren Jett and sophomore Paige Miller return from last season, when the Warriors finished seventh (5-23) in the OCC-Capital behind champion Dublin Coffman (28-0). They're in the OCC-Buckeye this season.
"I like that they have stayed positive and they take the initiative to go out and practice with one another," said Beaver, whose team did not have a Division I district qualifier last season. "I think there definitely is a social component to it. They like to go out and play and have fun together. I think that will pay great dividends for us."
The Warriors have only five golfers in the program. Junior Jessica Huffman rounds out the team.
"We don't have a lot of girls, but maybe we can get some more underclassmen out," Beaver said. "I'm looking forward to seeing how we can continue to improve this season. The girls aren't afraid to work on their games."
North finished fifth (455) in the first round of the OCC-Buckeye tournament Aug. 9 at Mentel Memorial behind Orange (290), Liberty (309), Central (370) and Olentangy (389) and ahead of South (508).
The second round was Aug. 15 at Royal American.
Aug. 4 -- Thomas Worthington Preview at Delaware Golf Club
Aug. 7 -- Fairfield Federal Invitational at Turnberry
Aug. 8 -- OCC-Buckeye at Turnberry
Aug. 9 -- Warhawk Invitational at Rattlesnake Ridge
Aug. 10 -- Westerville South at Royal American
Aug. 11 -- Mount Vernon Invitational at Chapel Hill
Aug. 14 -- OCC-Buckeye at Clover Valley
Aug. 19 -- Kent Miller Colonial Fall Classic at Hiawatha
Aug. 22 -- Big Walnut at Blackhawk
Aug. 29 -- Big Walnut at Royal American
Aug. 30 -- OCC-Buckeye at Apple Valley
Sept. 5 -- Dublin Scioto at Blackhawk
Sept. 6 -- Canal Winchester at Blackhawk
Sept. 7 -- Westerville Central and Westerville South at Medallion
Sept. 12 -- Reynoldsburg at Blackhawk
Sept. 13 -- OCC-Buckeye at Darby Creek
Sept. 20 -- Bexley and Canal Winchester at Westchester
Sept. 23 -- Watterson Invitational at Clover Valley
Sept. 25 -- Westerville South at Blackhawk
Sept. 26 -- Westerville Central and Westerville South at Medallion
Sept. 27 -- Reynoldsburg at Blacklick Woods
Aug. 7 -- Hilliard Bradley at Thorn Apple
Aug. 9 -- OCC-Buckeye at Mentel Memorial
Aug. 10 -- Big Walnut at Royal American
Aug. 15 -- OCC-Buckeye at Royal American
Aug. 17 -- Westerville Central at Royal American
Aug. 22 -- DeSales at Royal American
Aug. 24 -- Grove City at Oakhurst
Aug. 29 -- OCC-Buckeye at Cooks Creek
Aug. 31 -- Westerville South at Royal American
Sept. 6 -- DeSales at NorthStar
Sept. 12 -- OCC-Buckeye at West-chester
Sept. 21 -- Grove City at Royal American
Sept. 25 -- Westerville Central at Royal American
Sept. 26 -- Westerville South at Royal American
Sept. 27 -- Big Walnut at Medallion
Aug. 12 -- Delaware Invitational
Aug. 15 -- at Whitehall
Aug. 17 -- vs. New Albany
Aug. 21 -- at Big Walnut
Aug. 22 -- at Marysville
Aug. 23 -- vs. Eastmoor Academy
*Aug. 24 -- vs. Westerville Central
Aug. 28 -- vs. Worthington Christian
*Aug. 29 -- at Olentangy
*Aug. 31 -- vs. Olentangy Liberty
*Sept. 5 -- at Westerville South
*Sept. 7 -- vs. Olentangy Orange
Sept. 9 -- Big Walnut Doubles Classic
Sept. 11 -- at Delaware
Sept. 13 -- vs. Newark
Sept. 14 -- vs. DeSales
Sept. 18 -- vs. Groveport
Sept. 19 -- vs. Reynoldsburg
Sept. 20 -- vs. Westland
Sept. 25 -- vs. Hilliard Darby
Sept. 27 -- at Hilliard Bradley
Oct. 3 -- at Mount Vernon
Below are the coming schedules for the North boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Aug. 18 -- Home vs. Grove City
Aug. 18 -- Home vs. Grove City
Aug. 22 -- Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne
Aug. 19 -- Home vs. New Albany