ROSSVILLE – Rossville’s new head coach is a familiar name in the Clinton County tennis scene.
Bud Wainscott, a former Frankfort head coach and state champion head coach in Texas, takes over the Hornet program for Taylor Fife. Wainscott recently moved back to the area to move closer to his children and grandchildren, and was coaxed into coaching the Hornets by Athletic Director Bob Knapp.
“I have 12 grandchildren and this was home,” Wainscott said. “I played many games against the Rossville Hornets in high school. I’ve known Bobby and his family a long time. I have great respect for this community out here. It’s a really unique community. I’ve got nothing but support.”
While living in Texas, Wainscott, 78, helped lead Incarnate Word (San Antonio) to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools state championship back in 2003. Incarnate Word also made the state finals in the three subsequent years.
He wasn’t intending to coach more than one year at Incarnate Word, but ended up staying six years.
Before moving to Texas, Wainscott was Frankfort’s head coach for 20-plus years, leaving the position after the 1982 season.
Rossville’s got a couple of big holes to fill in its lineup after the graduation of No. 1 singles player Jay Shideler – a regional qualifier last year – and No. 1 doubles player Anthony Zachman.
Stepping into Shideler’s shoes is junior Lucas Zobel. Zobel bounced around between No. 3 singles and both doubles team last year.
“I’ve been trying to get this since my sophomore year,” Zobel said. “I knew once Jay left there was going to be a spot to fill and I wanted to be one of those guys. It’s going to be really hard to replace Jay. He was such a good player and he’s helped me out over the summer.
“I’d say my forehand is my strongest shot. I have a lot of power and topspin on my forehand. My serves are getting better but I’ve got to work on my backhand.”
Zobel also competed in a couple of summer tournaments: the Boilermaker Open at Purdue and then the Farmers Bank tournament in Frankfort.
“I want to win at least 50 percent of my matches,” Zobel said. “It’s tough competition out there. The kids coming from out of state (at the Purdue tourney), I won’t play a lot of them and a lot of them play for 4A and 5A schools. The tougher competition got me ready for the smaller schools I’d have to play.”
Expected to play at No. 2 singles is junior Levi Ellars while another junior, Steven Thompson, is slotted at the No. 3 singles spot.
“What they do well is that they have the total game,” Wainscott said. “They have the technical part of the game – forehand, backhand, big serve. They’re not real seasoned but they are to some degree. Lucas has great ground strokes. He has everything it takes to win a lot of matches.
“Levi’s played enough that he’s put together a nice game. If I can get him determined mentally he’s going to be hard to beat. He’ll win a big share of his matches. Steven hits a lot of chops and slices. He’ll irritate a lot of players.”
There are a number of athletes in the mix for doubles play, including but not limited to junior Brock White, sophomore Adam Easterday, sophomore Mason Reagan and sophomore Kaleb Harness.
Zobel charges the net
Rossville junior Lucas Zobel charges the net during a preseason practice. Zobel is expected to be the Hornets’ No. 1 singles player this season.
Thompson to play No. 3 singles
Rossville junior Steven Thompson will play No. 3 singles this season.