Wellington Roundup: Girls tennis squad features deep lineup

JARROD ULREY
julrey@thisweeknews.com
Junior Lilly Thompson and the Wellington girls tennis team opened Aug. 7 by defeating Watterson 3-2.

Tommy Haddow knew the score when he took over as Wellington's girls tennis coach in the offseason.

In addition to being the Jaguars' boys coach, Haddow served as Columbus Academy's girls coach the past five seasons, and his Vikings regularly faced Wellington.

"The whole team except for one girl (is a returnee)," Haddow said. "I'm glad to be playing and hopefully we can develop throughout the season. They've got good shots, but they need experience and they're working on that. Last year I thought they were solid when I was coach at Academy."

Haddow, who also serves as a teaching pro at Northam Park, has taken over a team that went 14-3 overall last season with only one senior in its lineup.

Junior Alexis Burkhalter is playing first singles after teaming with sophomore Katie Zerbi to reach last year's Division II state tournament in doubles. Burkhalter and Zerbi became the first Wellington players to earn a victory at state since 2014 and went on to place fourth. They also were the first doubles team from the school to make it to state since 2002.

Juniors Ella Marshall, Lauren Okoye, Lilly Thompson and Olivia Vegas and sophomores Cassidy Chenelle and Kate Thompson are other returnees.

Vegas teamed with 2020 graduate Camille Olmstead to reach the district tournament in doubles. Chenelle and Kate Thompson both reached the second round of sectional in singles.

Wellington opened Aug. 7 by beating Watterson 3-2. It begins MSL-Ohio Division action Aug. 27 at Buckeye Valley.

Last season, the Jaguars finished second (6-1) in the league behind Academy (7-0).

"We haven't really worked on anything per se," Haddow said. "We've got a young team and a deep team."

Boys golfers going through reload

With two of its competitors unable to play, the boys golf team did not post a score in the first round of the MSL-Ohio tournament Aug. 5 at Westchester.

The Jaguars are expecting to field a competitive team, though, now that their full lineup is available.

"It's a very young team," coach Oliver Chapman said. "They're not battle-tested as of yet, so we're in a new chapter for these guys. Some have played together, some have not, so we're trying to come together as a team. Even on an individual level, it's how your guys pick each other up."

Chapman took over in the offseason after Craig Mosier stepped down following his 12th season.

Chapman is a member at the Ohio State Golf Club and last year befriended 2020 graduate Aidan Schumer, who shot 148 to earn medalist honors in the Division III state tournament last fall as the Jaguars finished as runners-up.

Schumer mentioned to Chapman that Mosier had decided to step down and thought Chapman, who grew up in Virginia before graduating from Ohio State in 2008, would make a good coach.

"He said his high school coach was going to be leaving and that (I would) be perfect for it," Chapman said. "He introduced me to (Wellington athletics director) Lindsey (Smith), and I interviewed for the job. I'm excited I can do it. It's been a great start and I've enjoyed getting to relive being a player."

Senior Carsten Judge, who did not compete in the opening round of the league tournament because he was participating in a junior event, earned second-team all-state honors for the second consecutive season last fall as he tied for ninth at state with a 156.

While Schumer has committed to the University of British Columbia, Judge also is hoping to play collegiately, according to Chapman.

Sophomore Sidd Ganesh and junior Jackson Jacobs finished 46th (180) and tied for 61st (191), respectively, last year at state.

Sophomores Tyrelle Debose, Jake Goudie and Silas Vehnke are others looking to contribute.

The second round of the league tournament is Aug. 29 at Turnberry, with the final round Sept. 23 at Denison Golf Club.

"We're really just preparing to go strong into next year," Chapman said. "Carsten is going to be a standout."

* In girls golf, the Jaguars have one returnee in senior Paige Bennett but had no other players during the preseason. She competed Aug. 11 in the MSL-Ohio preseason tournament after the Jaguars went 0-10 in the league last season.

Bennett led Wellington with a 107 last fall in a Division II sectional at Blacklick Woods as the Jaguars finished eighth of nine teams.

Bill Miller is in his 15th season as girls golf coach.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

At a glance

BOYS GOLF

*Coach: Oliver Chapman, first season

*Top players: Sidd Ganesh, Jackson Jacobs and Carsten Judge

*Key losses: Aidan Schumer and Garrett Thesing

*2019 MSL-Ohio standings: Columbus Academy (12-0), Wellington (8-4), Bexley (6-6), Worthington Christian (3-9), Buckeye Valley (1-11)

*2019 postseason: First at district, second at state

GIRLS TENNIS

*Coach: Tommy Haddow, first season

*Top players: Alexis Burkhalter, Cassidy Chenelle, Lauren Okoye, Kate Thompson, Lilly Thompson, Olivia Vegas and Katie Zerbi

*Key loss: Camille Olmstead

*Last season: 14-3 overall

*2019 MSL-Ohio standings: Academy (7-0), Wellington (6-1), Bexley (5-2), Worthington Christian (4-3), Columbus School for Girls (3-4), Buckeye Valley (2-5), Grandview (1-6), Whitehall (0-7)

Sophomore Sidd Ganesh is among the top returnees for the Wellington boys golf team and first-year coach Oliver Chapman. The Jaguars finished second in last year's Division III state tournament.