Sam Hopp thinks as many as 25 freshmen made their debut in the North tennis program, and the tennis coach also says he could have one of the bigger junior varsity teams in his conference.
“That’s a pretty cool opportunity,” he said. “We graduated a lot of seniors last year but we have the biggest freshmen class I’ve ever coached coming in. So that’s a lot of fun for me. There’s a lot of first-time matches for people, but it’s a lot of learning too, which is fun.”
Two key players who return after playing three and four singles last year are George Phillips and Alex Suscha, respectively.
But a possible No. 1 singles candidate who made it to the third round of Division 1 state doubles last year, senior Jasper Delasanta, recently injured his collarbone while skiing.
“So we lose him for the first four weeks of the season,” Hopp said. “I’m just happy the outlook is he’ll come back this year, which is great. But you feel bad for him, because he’s coming off such a good year. And he could put together another one. I’ve got high hopes for when he comes back.”
Senior Luis Beltran will provide leadership, there is a good, strong freshman in Ty Smith and the sophomore class features Aiden Blomwillis, Kyle Flook, Touger Yang, and Ben Beumler.
“We’ve got some good, young singles players,” coach Stu Stempihar said. “A very good foundation of a lot of sophomores and freshmen.”
But the Redwings have to replace five seniors and they were having a hard time finding a 10th player to fill out the roster as of last week.
“I would hate to have to forfeit, especially a singles match,” Stempihar said. “We have such strong singles players. We’ve got five or six of them. If we only have nine (total players), we may have to forfeit a singles match and that would really hurt us.”