Erin Ortman brings a wealth of experience as the new girls tennis coach at Hilliard Davidson High School.

Ortman replaces Steve De Dent, who stepped down after seven seasons. De Dent resigned to concentrate on his role as girls basketball coach at Bradley. He will remain the boys tennis coach at Davidson.

Ortman is the past president of the Greater Columbus Tennis Association and has served as GCTA women's league coordinator the past 22 years. She also is the United States Tennis Association Ohio Valley president.

Ortman previously served as junior varsity coach at Columbus School for Girls and assistant coach at Weaver Middle School and currently serves as the middle school boys coach at Wellington.

"It's a bigger program, but I'm all about that," she said. "I have organizational skills. I can handle it. It's a great program."

Davidson opened Aug. 15 against Darby and begins OCC-Central Division play Aug. 23 at Dublin Coffman.

The Wildcats return several players from last season, but Ortman said the starting lineup had yet to be determined as of last week because of the competition for the top seven spots.

"We have 40 girls right now and everyone will play (in the program)," she said. "It's a non-cut sport. I will continue that tradition. It's the experience out on the court that I want them to have. Wins and losses are great, but I want them to have a positive experience."

Key returnees include senior Emma Wood and juniors Sophia Persad, Kaitlyn Quinn and Katherine Sarkel.

"I think we're going to have a really great season," Wood said. "I'm looking forward to getting to know a lot of the younger girls and working on our skills together, and coach Ortman, from what I've seen so far, she's great, so I'm excited."

Ortman said freshman Varnika Laveti also is in the mix for a starting spot.

"This is something Steve has grown, and I'm going to continue to build the program," Ortman said. "I want it to build from the middle school on up."

Last season, Davidson went 12-11 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Central to finish fourth behind champion Coffman (5-0).

"We have some great competition with the schedule that we have, so that will be a struggle, but we have to fight through that," Ortman said. "We'll be a good team. We have to keep the camaraderie."

Boys golfers expect 'to have a lot of fun'

The boys golf team returns four three-year letterwinners, led by senior Caleb Stimmel, whose busy offseason included competing in elite national events.

Last season, Stimmel earned first-team all-OCC-Central honors.

Seniors Grant Cowan, Jacob Drees and Cole Kazmerzak are the other three-year letterwinners.

Also back are junior Zach Welch and sophomore Cam Colman.

Freshman Zach Burton rounds out the team.

"We are expecting to have a lot of fun this year," 29th-year coach Monte Rhoden said. "My definition of fun is the process of competing hard, scrapping and grinding things out to do the best you can do."

Davidson opened Aug. 4 by shooting a 322 in the 15-team Thomas Worthington Preview at Delaware Golf Club to tie Gahanna for fifth behind champion Wellington (297).

The Wildcats finished third (316) in the first round of the OCC-Central tournament Aug. 7 at Turnberry, behind first-place Upper Arlington (303).

Stimmel led Davidson, tying for third with a 74.

The Wildcats finished second (319) in the second round Aug. 13 at Denison Golf Club, behind UA (299). Stimmel earned medalist honors with a 70.

Last season, the Wildcats went 14-6 in the four-round league tournament to finish third behind UA (18-2) and Coffman (16-4).

Davidson is seeking its ninth consecutive Division I district tournament appearance.

"The boys have great pride in holding up the Wildcat golf tradition, which has averaged 115 wins for the last 20 seasons besides being district qualifiers in 20 of the last 21 years," Rhoden said. "The OCC-Central Division will be as tough as ever with Upper Arlington and Dublin Coffman the teams to beat."

Lee again to lead girls golf team

Senior Amelia Lee, who played in national elite tournaments during the offseason, returns to lead the girls golf team.

Last season, Lee competed in the Division I district tournament at Cooks Creek, shooting an 81 to tie for 24th of 54 golfers.

Also back is senior Eleni Monroe, who 10th-year coach Bob Winland expects to have a solid season.

"Eleni is really a strong golfer," Winland said. "She's sort of the hidden factor. She worked really hard this summer. She did a nice job with a lot of the younger kids, getting them out to the golf range for practices. It's nice having Amelia and Eleni really come along."

Sophomore Kacy Harsh also returns.

Other players are senior Abby Hale and juniors Bella Harless and Kara Brabb. All three played at junior varsity last season.

"We have a good group coming back and it's fun," Winland said. "It's good to have them out there and hitting golf balls. It will be a fun season with these girls. We have good senior leadership at the top."

The Wildcats began OCC-Central play Aug. 8 at Royal American, shooting a 390 to finish fourth behind New Albany (301), UA (322) and Coffman (329) and ahead of Marysville (403) and Canal Winchester (406).

The second round was Aug. 15 at Cooks Creek.

Last season, Davidson went 7-13 in the four-round league tournament to finish fourth, behind champion UA (20-0).

"Top to bottom, our league is a very competitive league," Winland said. "You play against who you have to play against. The tougher competition makes you a little tougher."

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

Schedules

BOYS GOLF

Aug. 4 -- Thomas Worthington Preview at Delaware Golf Club

Aug. 6 -- Olentangy Liberty Invitational at Denison Golf Club

Aug. 7 -- OCC-Central at Turnberry

Aug. 8 -- Marysville Invitational at Darby Creek

Aug. 10 -- Mount Vernon Invitational at Chapel Hill

Aug. 11 -- Wildcat Invitational at Golf Club of Dublin

Aug. 13 -- OCC-Central at Denison Golf Club

Aug. 16 -- Weiss Invitational at Ashland Golf Club

Aug. 18 -- Kent Miller Colonial Fall Classic at Hiawatha

Aug. 27 -- DeSales at Champions

Aug. 29 -- OCC-Central at Apple Valley

Aug. 30 -- Grove City at Hickory Hills

Sept. 1 -- Pickerington North Invitational at Pine Hill

Sept. 5 -- Gahanna at Thorn Apple

Sept. 12 -- OCC-Central at Darby Creek

Sept. 13 -- Fairbanks at Thorn Apple

Sept. 24 -- Reynoldsburg at Blacklick Woods

Sept. 26 -- Central Crossing at Thorn Apple

Sept. 29 -- Pickerington Central at Turnberry

GIRLS GOLF

Aug. 6 -- Thomas Worthington at Mentel Memorial

Aug. 7 -- Dublin Coffman at Marysville Golf Club

Aug. 8 -- OCC-Central at Royal American

Aug. 10 -- Pickerington North Invitational at Turnberry

Aug. 13 -- Grove City at Rolling Meadows

Aug. 14 -- Bradley at Mentel Memorial

Aug. 15 -- OCC-Central at Cooks Creek

Aug. 20 -- Westerville Central at The Ridge Golf & Gardens

Aug. 28 -- Darby at Rolling Meadows

Aug. 29 -- OCC-Central at Mentel Memorial

Sept. 4 -- Grove City at Oakhurst

Sept. 5 -- Centerburg at Wyandot

Sept. 10 -- Thomas Worthington at The Ridge Golf & Gardens

Sept. 12 -- OCC-Central at Westchester

Sept. 17 -- Westerville Central at Royal American

Sept. 19 -- Bradley at Darby Creek

Sept. 20 -- Darby at Darby Creek

GIRLS TENNIS

Aug. 15 -- vs. Darby

Aug. 16 -- vs. Olentangy Liberty

Aug. 21 -- at Olentangy

Aug. 22 -- Whetstone at Park of Roses

*Aug. 23 -- at Dublin Coffman

Aug. 25 -- Viking Invitational at Teays Valley

Aug. 27 -- vs. Westerville Central

*Aug. 28 -- vs. Upper Arlington

*Aug. 30 -- vs. Central Crossing

*Sept. 4 -- at Westland

Sept. 5 -- at Westerville North

*Sept. 6 -- vs. Marysville

Sept. 10 -- vs. Lancaster

Sept. 12 -- vs. Olentangy Berlin

Sept. 18 -- at Pickerington North

Sept. 22 -- Kim Shepherd Doubles Classic at home

Sept. 24 -- vs. Dublin Scioto

Sept. 25 -- at Gahanna

Sept. 27 -- at Bradley

Oct. 2 -- at Pickerington Central

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Davidson cross country, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Aug. 18 -- OHSAA Early Season Invitational at National Trail Raceway

BOYS SOCCER

Aug. 17 -- Home vs. Bradley

Aug. 21- At Gahanna

GIRLS SOCCER

Aug. 17 -- Home vs. Bradley

Aug. 21 -- Home vs. DeSales

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Aug. 18 -- Home vs. Mansfield Madison

Aug. 21 -- At Lancaster