Canal Winchester High School girls tennis coach Jill Welsh has done a fair amount of tinkering with her lineup this season, usually when it comes to doubles.

One certainty is that senior Courtney Cowgill won't quibble with wherever her name is written, whether it is in singles or doubles.

"I can put her at either one. She will give it her best no matter where she's playing," Welsh said. "She is not one of those players where I'll tell her she's at doubles and she won't like it or that she's at singles and she'd be unhappy. She just says, 'Wherever you want to put me.'

"Not a lot of players can play equally well at both. Courtney is one of those who can."

Cowgill, a fourth-year varsity player, has rotated between singles and doubles her entire career. Callie Tate, Erin Duckworth and Ellie Stedman have played first, second and third singles, respectively, in most matches this year, meaning Cowgill often has been paired with freshman Amayah Gentry.

"I wanted Courtney to show (Gentry) the ropes, which she has done," Welsh said.

Canal Winchester was 5-2 overall before playing Fisher Catholic on Sept. 10 and finished 4-1 in the OCC-Capital Division with a 4-1 win over Newark on Sept. 6.

Cowgill admits she prefers singles, largely because of the accountability factor. She alternated between singles and doubles her freshman and sophomore years, then almost exclusively played doubles last year with 2018 graduate Elizabeth Welsh.

"(In singles) I can focus on myself instead of having another person there," said Cowgill, who plays tennis year-round and attended clinics during the summer. "I feel like I can relax myself instead of communicating with the other person. It's easier for me and I like holding myself accountable, for sure.

"I definitely feel like I've improved from last year. My serves are more consistent and my forehand and backhand are better. I do tennis year-round and I do (cheerleading) on the side as well. I'm on the go a lot, but that's how I like it."

In addition to cheerleading and tennis, Cowgill also is a member of the National Honor Society, Science Olympiad and Indians Club, a community service organization.

Cowgill is not the only member of the tennis team who is splitting time between two sports this fall. Duckworth, a sophomore who was 6-0 between singles and doubles before Sept. 10, also runs cross country.

"With that and homework and honors classes and any other extracurricular things, you have to be so smart with your time. It's a lot. I know I'm definitely tired every night," Duckworth said. "Courtney is really consistent. She has such drive. She makes points last a long time. It's definitely something (Welsh) makes sure we know, that consistency is key. If you don't have the endurance, just keep it consistent. Get it over the net and play out the point."

Canal Winchester's only OCC-Capital loss came against New Albany, 5-0 on Sept. 4.

Even with OCC-Capital play finished, the Indians entered the week with 10 dual matches remaining.

"We have seen some tough teams," said Welsh, whose team lost to Granville 4-1 on Sept. 5. "We knew (Granville) could have gone either way. Everything was so close. I am very pleased with how we're playing. We have to keep being competitive and staying in the points."

Football team preps for Warriors

Football coach Josh Stratton got to guide his team against his alma mater last year, and this week he will match wits with an old friend.

Stratton, who graduated from Westland in 1998, will coach against 2000 Westland graduate Bryan Johnson on Friday, Sept. 14, when the Indians play host to Westerville North. Johnson was a classmate of Stratton's wife, Stacey.

"We text each other a lot. Both of us want success for the other. I'm a big Bryan Johnson fan," Stratton said. "This week, of course, is a little different. I know they're going to give us all we can handle."

Canal Winchester improved to 2-1 with a 14-7 win at Teays Valley on Sept. 7. North has the same record and is coming off a 31-21 loss at Mansfield Senior that same night.

"They're really athletic and their skill guys, especially their running back (Rondale Smith) and quarterback (Auri Dover), can really run," Stratton said. "They have a lot of wrestlers on their team who are athletic. Our linebackers coach (Harrison Rosch) is also our wrestling coach, so he knows those guys."

The Indians are 1-4 all-time against the Warriors, including a 47-21 loss last year.

Tyler Toledo rushed for two touchdowns on seven carries at Teays Valley, capping a 95-yard drive in the first quarter with a 9-yard score before a 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter. He also had a fumble recovery and an interception at defensive back.

Running back Stephan Byrd rushed for 132 yards on 27 carries, quarterback Jack Beeler completed 13 of 17 passes for 126 yards and the Indians' defense recovered three fumbles and twice held on fourth down.

"Tyler is an impact guy. He's getting better every game," Stratton said. "We're improving all around. Offensively, we started well and got a little conservative later in the game, but we were able to establish ourselves pretty well."

Girls soccer team set for league play

The girls soccer team will begin defense of its first OCC-Capital championship Thursday, Sept. 13, at home against Big Walnut.

Canal Winchester was 4-2 overall before playing Granville on Sept. 11. The Indians snapped a two-game losing streak with a 5-0 win over Logan on Sept. 6.

Canal Winchester previously had lost to Westerville South, 1-0 on Aug. 30, and Pickerington North, 2-1 on Sept. 4 in a rematch of a Division I district final last year that the Indians lost by the same score.

Lindsey Davis and McKenna Sullivan shared the team lead in scoring through six games with four goals each.



Below are the coming schedules for the Canal Winchester cross country, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:


Sept. 15 -- Newark Invitational at Evans Athletic Complex


Sept. 13 -- Bloom-Carroll at West-chester


Sept. 18 -- Pickerington Central at Turnberry

Sept. 19 -- Hilliard Darby and Teays Valley at Westchester


*Sept. 13 -- At Big Walnut

Sept. 15 -- Home vs. Logan


*Sept. 13 -- Home vs. Big Walnut

Sept. 18 -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson


Sept. 13 -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg

Sept. 15 -- Reynoldsburg Doubles Tournament

Sept. 17 -- Home vs. Westland in makeup from Aug. 16

Sept. 18 -- At Central Crossing

Sept. 19 -- At Teays Valley


*Sept. 13 -- Home vs. Franklin Heights

Sept. 17 -- Home vs. Teays Valley

*League contest