WHERE ARE THEY NOW
Boys Varsity Tennis
August 19, 2011Rossville Middle High School
BOYS TENNIS: Seniors return to lead Hornets
Shideler, Zachman top players
By Phil Friend
Rossville head tennis coach Taylor Fife has a plan.
Instead of playing seniors Jay Shideler and Anthony Zachman as his number one and two singles players, Fife plans to have them play together at No. 1 doubles in hopes they can advance out of the sectional as individuals.
As long as they play at the No. 1 doubles spot in 50 percent of their regular season matches, they would be able to play there in the sectional – a field that includes Lebanon and Zionsville.
“Winning sectional as a team isn’t a realistic possibility on a yearly basis,” Fife said. “Those teams are supposed to be down so there’s a chance they could slip up or we could get a good draw. In certain matches, I’m going to (play them at doubles), especially if I feel we can win the match anyway because out team is going to be pretty deep.”
Zachman finished with a 10-6 record and Shideler 9-7 last year.
Fife said there are a number of high school tennis players that are unable to transition from singles to doubles. Zachman and Shideler have been preparing for the switch for most of the summer, although they will still play singles in some matches.
“They played No. 1 doubles against Lebanon last year and beat them,” Fife said. “Lebanon’s coach mentioned how good they were and they could advance in the doubles tournament if they continued to play well together. But it is going to make singles weaker.”
Expected to play No. 3 singles is sophomore Levi Ellars.
“I really look for him to win around 50 percent of his matches depending on the level of competition he sees,” Fife said. “We feel like if he wins, we win the match. He’s that point we’re going to need.”
When Zachman and Shideler are playing singles, Fife says the doubles teams are evenly matched. Because of that, the pairings for both won’t be settled until midway through the season. In the mix for the Hornets is three seniors – Parker Ware, Drew Snyder and Evan Briggs – and sophomore Lucas Zobel.
“Lucas is our most improved player,” Fife said. “He really struggled last year because he was new to tennis, but he played all summer long, took some lessons and is heavily improved.
“A lot of (the pairings) will be based on chemistry. I really feel like we’re going to have five players we’ll be able to rotate on a regular basis.”
The Hornets open their season Thursday at home against Benton Central.