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Boys tennis team ready for season
This year's South Whidbey High School boys tennis team is a mix of the old and new, as about half the team has experience, while the rest are novices when it comes to high school play. Six of the new players are freshmen, while the others are older students.
With 11 varsity players and 12 junior varsity players, Falcon coach Tom Kramer said the numbers are good, but seasoning will take time.
"Unfortunately, we don't have as much experience as I would like to see," he said. "But I am hopeful it will all come together this season."
Kramer has not named a captain yet but he did single out three players he expects have solid seasons. Seniors Bryan Wilson and Mike Berry carry much of the team's experience on their shoulders and will be paired up for doubles play. Sophomore Tim Klopfenstein, who developed his court skills in middle school playing with his father, will play at singles.
Other experienced players who will add some power to the Falcons game include senior Bill Schneeman, junior Alex Hoelting and sophomore Kenny Johnson.
The Falcons should have just enough players to fill all the varsity and JV slots for meets this year, so all the players will get court time.
"I don't expect to cut anyone," said Kramer Wednesday morning, during an unusually warm practice. "We will take everyone who is trying out."
Serious practice began this week for both varsity and junior varsity teams. Assistant coach Nancy Ricketts is helping the team's new players sharpen their basic skills.
"I really enjoy working with the new players," said Ricketts.
For the past three seasons, the Falcon boys have played in district tournaments -- which are held in the spring -- but have not qualified players for the state tournament.
The varsity team has a schedule of 14 meets with the first one at home on Sept. 13 at 3:45 p.m. The junior varsity team plays five meets, with the first on Sept. 13 in Anacortes at 3:45 p.m.