Evan Tekancic entered the season knowing that he was being counted on to be a leader for the Hilliard Davidson boys basketball team given that he was the only player on the roster with varsity experience.
However, on Dec. 13, just four games into the season, the 6-foot-3 senior guard suffered a left shoulder injury during a 54-23 loss at Upper Arlington.
Tekancic returned to practice later in December after resting his shoulder, but would not appear in another game, as he aggravated the injury and was diagnosed with a torn labrum. On Feb. 3, he underwent season-ending surgery.
"It stinks because we were working really hard and they're still working really hard, but it stinks that I can't be out there to play with them," said Tekancic, whose left arm will be in a sling for four to six weeks, followed by four to six weeks of rehabilitation. "It's definitely been hard for me."
Tekancic averaged 6.5 points in four games, scoring a season-high 10 points in a 42-40 loss to Lancaster on Dec. 10.
"He's still done a good job of being a leader on the sideline, but we miss his toughness," said coach Tim Congrove, whose team was 4-16 overall before playing Walnut Ridge on Feb. 11. "He's one of our better guards. It stinks not having him out on the floor. No one wants to end their senior season with an injury. I felt bad for him.
"We talk all the time about controlling the controllable and that's not one of those things that we can control, so he's trying to stay positive and coach on the sideline. He's another guy who's an extension of me."
Tekancic also was a leader for the football team, which went 7-4 and shared the OCC-Central Division title with Dublin Coffman and Upper Arlington.
Last fall, in his only season as starting quarterback, Tekancic rushed for 291 yards and four touchdowns in the Wildcats' triple-option offense and was named first-team all-league.
"Evan did a great job of being a leader," said former football coach Brian White, who stepped down Dec. 9 after 21 seasons guiding the program. "He walked the walk as well as talked the talk. He had a great offseason going into his senior year. He was very committed to the weight room. His character is extremely high. The kids certainly responded to him on the offensive side of the ball."
Tekancic will continue his football career at Ohio Northern, the same school where his father, Scott, played quarterback before graduating in 1999 and his uncle, Marcus, played tight end before graduating in 1998.
"I looked at some bigger schools, but it came down to what's after football," Tekancic said. "Academics played a factor into it. ... I've heard a lot of stories about the school from my dad. He was very supportive of all my options."
Tekancic, who has a 3.75 GPA, plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.
"I'm definitely going to miss the sports teams because that is where I found most of my friends," he said. "We have a lot of memories. I'm going to miss the school, but I'm ready to be moving on."
For now, Tekancic is doing what he can from the bench to help the basketball team, which is 2-7 in the OCC-Central and will close league play Friday, Feb. 14, at home against Marysville. The Wildcats lost to the Monarchs 54-36 on Jan. 10.
Jonathan Weir had 10 points in a 68-29 loss to visiting Bradley on Feb. 8, while Ryan Paris and Kyle Grolle both scored nine in a 54-38 league win at Westland on Feb. 7. Paris had 14 points and Jayden Humphrey scored 10 in a 65-47 loss to visiting Olentangy on Feb. 4.
Davidson is seeded 42nd in the 49-team Division I district tournament and will play fifth-seeded Pickerington North or 43rd-seeded Logan in the second round Feb. 28.
Girls basketball team to open postseason
The girls basketball team is seeded 23rd in the Division I district tournament and will play host to 27th-seeded Logan in the first round Saturday, Feb. 15.
The winner plays at 15th-seeded Hartley in the second round Feb. 21.
"We've been inconsistent this year," coach Joy Taylor said. "We've played up and down. I've seen us play some really good basketball this year, so I'm hoping that's what we bring to the tournament."
Davidson is 12-10 overall and finished 7-3 in the OCC-Central, placing second behind Coffman (10-0).
Sydney Petersen scored 10 points in a 53-17 league win over visiting Westland on Feb. 7.
Swimmers set for district meet
Several members of the swimming teams advanced to the Division I district meet Thursday, Feb. 13, at Ohio State.
Sergio Suarez led the boys team in a sectional Feb. 8 at Thomas Worthington, finishing second in both the 50-yard freestyle (21.73 seconds) and 100 backstroke (52.69). At district, he is seeded second in the 100 back and sixth in the 50 free.
Suarez also joined A.J. Zody, Gregory McGuire and Josh Chi on the second-place 200 free relay (1:31.13). The relay is seeded seventh at district.
The Wildcats finished third (171 points) of 13 teams, behind champion New Albany (257) and Darby (197).
The girls team was led at sectional by Brogan Gehrig, who placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.02) and 10th in the 200 individual medley (2:18.16). At district, she is seeded 16th in the 100 breast and 24th in the 200 IM.
Davidson tied Bradley for eighth (54) of 13 teams, behind champion New Albany (400).
At district, the top two placers in each swimming event automatically advance to the state meet Feb. 21 and 22 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded in each event based on district times statewide.
Kokoska announces college decision
Dylan Kokoska has announced that he will play football at Dayton.
Below is the coming schedule for the Davidson wrestling team:
*Feb. 13 -- Home vs. Dublin Coffman
Feb. 15 -- Canal Winchester Invitational