The Westerville North boys golf team expects to see continued improvement even though it must replace one of the top performers in the OCC-Buckeye Division.
Pierre Southibounnorath, a 2019 graduate, was first-team all-league last fall with a 75.25 average that was second only to Westerville Central's Josh Qian (72.75).
Junior Jack Yancey is expected to be a top performer. The second-year player shot a personal-best round of 82 in the 19-team Pickerington Central Invitational on Aug. 5 at Turnberry. The Warriors finished 14th (369) behind champion Olentangy Berlin (305).
"My game has improved drastically," Yancey said. "I shot 110 last year (in the opener at Turnberry) and this year I had an 82, so I shaved 28 strokes off that.
"I have been working with a swing coach, Gerry Hammond, since last October, and we have got my swing where it needs to be. It has helped my confidence a lot."
Seventh-year coach Bob Markin said the Warriors have two more experienced golfers in sophomores Andrew Scurlock and Rocco Thomas. Scurlock had an 89 and Thomas a 91 in the opener.
"Andrew struggled a little in the first match and Jack played pretty strongly," Markin said. "We were figuring to be around 365 (as a team) in the opener and we were close to that at 369.
"I like that we're young. Our leaders are a junior and two sophomores. I like the youth and potential of our players."
Seniors Elijah Rex and Drew Robinson, juniors D.J. Bridge and Kobe Hunter and freshmen Ian McComb and Cameron Wages complete the roster.
The Warriors finished fifth (389) in the opening round of the four-round OCC-Buckeye tournament Aug. 6 at Turnberry, behind Olentangy Orange (301), Olentangy Liberty (304), Westerville Central (327) and Olentangy (327) and ahead of Westervile South (425).
Yancey had an 87 to lead North, followed by Scurlock (91), Thomas (103), Hunter (108) and Rex (126).
"Kobe Hunter is a new player, just starting the game two months ago," Markin said. "He can hit the ball but he needs to get a little more consistent."
North finished fifth (378) in the second round of league play Aug. 12 at Apple Valley behind first-place Liberty (298). Scurlock (85) led the Warriors.
Four seniors to lead girls golf squad
The girls golf team is looking to four seniors -- returning starters Emma Diehl, Ella Holtzmuller, Sydney Johnson and Alexyss Smith -- to lead the way.
"It really helps to have the four experienced seniors. (They) struggled at times last year, but they learned how to play the game," fifth-year coach Betsy Gegick said. "I feel like the hard work was last year. Now they have taken the reins and are great leaders for our newbies."
The Warriors had five golfers last season but now have six. Rounding out the roster are junior Makaiya Blankenbeckley and freshman Danielle Halterman.
"I'm not sure who our No. 1 (golfer) will be, but Alexyss led us during tryouts," Gegick said. "Ella Holtzmuller is a four-year golfer, and it's been exciting to see her mature as a golfer. Even on days when she doesn't score that well, she can diagnose what's going on out there."
North finished fifth (497) in the opening round of the OCC-Buckeye tournament Aug. 8 at New Albany Links behind Liberty (353), Olentangy (374), Central (375) and South (451). Orange did not have enough golfers for a team score.
Holtzmuller and Smith both shot 119, followed by Johnson (129), Diehl (130) and Halterman (133).
The second round of league play was Aug. 14 at Mentel Memorial.
Girls tennis team continues to improve
The girls tennis team returns its core group from last season, but second-year coach Max Quinton said his squad still is in need of court time.
"We have the heart of the team back, but we're still green," said Quinton, whose team finished 2-15 overall and 0-5 in the OCC-Buckeye. "We have some people who have been playing on and off in the summer, so we should be better. Maybe we might have moved to a darker shade of green."
Junior Aubrey McMahon will play first singles, but Quinton said the rest of the lineup was uncertain in the preseason.
"We'll know more as time goes on," Quinton said. "We're still rebuilding. We'll be better than last year. How much better will be determined, but ... if we finish .500 (or better), I'll dye my hair and beard green."
Seniors Emily Buss, Maddie Poling, Emylee Preston and Anyce Sewell and juniors Kayla Cochran and Emma Weisgerber played some varsity last fall. Weisgerber missed part of the season after having wrist surgery.
The Warriors open OCC-Buckeye action Aug. 22 against Central.
Below are the coming schedules for the North boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Aug. 15 -- Delaware at Royal American
Aug. 17 -- Kent Miller Colonial Fall Classic at Hiawatha
Aug. 21 -- Canal Winchester at Royal American
Aug. 15 -- DeSales at Royal American
Aug. 19 -- Worthington Kilbourne at Worthington Hills
Aug. 20 -- Hilliard Davidson at The Ridge
*Aug. 16 -- At Westerville South
Aug. 20 -- Home vs. Northland
Aug. 16 -- At South
Aug. 19 -- Home vs. DeSales
Aug. 15 -- At Upper Arlington
Aug. 20 -- At Dublin Coffman
Aug. 21 -- Home vs. Ready
Aug. 20 -- Home vs. New Albany