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Northwest Montana A Conference
2013 STATE CHAMPS: BOYS (BBALL) GIRLS (SOFTBALL, GOLF)--DEBATE

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Home » Boys' Tennis News

NW 'A' TENNIS PREVIEW

April 3, 2014
Northwest Montana A Conference



 

COLUMBIA FALLS

Bad weather hampers tennis team

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 8:55 am

In between flurries, squalls and rain showers, Columbia Falls tennis players haven’t seen much time on an actual court.

Before the break, the Wildkats got one outside practice in on a sunny but decidedly cool day — all of 22 degrees.

Ditto for the boys.

Still, both coaches have hopes of getting some athletes to the state tournament this year.

The Wildcats return 10 players from last year and have seven new players, coach Gary Yee said. Last year, no boys from Columbia Falls qualified for state, but they do have some talent in seniors Mason Gedlaman, Caleb Baumann and Gavin Thelan.

Yee, who’s been coaching now for 12 years, said he also expects good things from Grant Wallace, Brock Denney and Cooper Wendt.

On the girls side, coach Jerry Smalley has 36 girls total and four returning letter winners — Emily Getts, Hailey Sapa, Baylee Brinton and Olivia Lewis-Peterson. Last year as a freshman, Getts was the lone qualifier for the state Class A tournament. She took second in singles in the divisional competition.

Smalley, who’s assisted by Gene Marcille, who coaches junior varsity, said he wasn’t sure how his varsity lineup will shake out — the girls have simply been indoors too much.

“Having to practice indoors, we are feeling some pressure to prepare for four matches the first week after spring break,” Smalley said.

The boys and the girls teams are scheduled to open their season April 8 in Ronan. They have a week off for spring break, then have four matches in the first week of the season, including an opening match with Whitefish at home on Thursday, April 10.

Polson

Coach: Bob Hislop

The Pirate boys will look to defend their state title, and they’re poised to do so with the return of second-placer Dylan McCrumb and third-placer Brady Hislop, both seniors.

Hislop has accepted a preferred walk-on spot at Eastern Washington University next year.

The Pirates also have doubles state placer Layne Zimmerman back from last year, though he lost partner Hayden Congdon. Tyler Dupuis, Tommy Mercer, Thomas Crosby and Quaid Harlan round out the boys varsity returners.

On the girls side, coach Bob Hislop said the Pirates have a wealth of experience. Mollybeth Hendrix, Karly Rochin and Shannon Oakley all placed at divisionals. Lauren Dupuis, Shawna Oakley and Taylor Rost all have varsity experience as well.

 

WHITEFISH

Returning seniors lead boys tennis

Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 3:00 am

A trio of returning seniors will lead the boys tennis team this season as the Bulldogs look to put some pressure on the defending state champs in Polson.

About 18 boys are on a roster that is full of potential.

“There’s room to grow and I think we’ll improve a lot,” Whitefish coach Chris Schwaderer said. “We have a pretty solid team — top to bottom.”

Seniors Logan Blades, Holden Roberts and Bailey Jack appear ready to lead the effort.

Blades placed fourth at the state Class A tournament last year with doubles partner Sean Janni.

“It’s good to have experienced players who have been there and know what it takes to advance in the postseason,” Schwaderer said.

Blades has played on the tennis team all four years.

“He’s one of those hard-working kids you like to have around,” Schwaderer said.

Roberts comes into the season bigger and stronger after battling at the No. 1 singles slot last season.

“I expect him to do well,” Schwaderer said.

Both Blades and Roberts trained in the off-season in Kalispell.

“That’s what it takes these days to succeed in tennis,” Schwaderer said. “The teams and players that do well have to commit to training outside of the season.”

Jack made significant strides with his game last year and looks sharp this spring, Schwaderer said. He could be teamed up in doubles with fellow senior Tommy Murphy, a newcomer to the team.

“They’re both athletic, aggressive and very competitive,” Schwaderer said.

The Bulldogs have a tradition of fielding a powerhouse doubles team. Schwaderer says the duo looks ready to carry the torch.

“I like that we can put good doubles teams on the court,” the coach said. “You have to be a little scrappier and have more heart in doubles. We have a lot of those players in our program.”

Joining the team this season is assistant coach Amity Sparks, a local physical therapist. She’s helped develop a training and conditioning program for the team.

“The focus is to be stronger and better conditioned,” Schwaderer said. “We want to develop the whole athlete.”

With the courts covered in snow, the Dogs have only practiced inside the gym. They started shoveling the courts Thursday.

“I’m hoping we can get on a court before our first match,” Schwaderer said.

The defending state champs in Polson come into the season as the team to beat.

“They’ll be tough — really tough,” Schwaderer said. “We hope to put some heat on them.”

Libby and Columbia Falls and Whitefish should be evenly matched.

Whitefish opens the season at home April 10 against the Wildcats.


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