Three returning letter-winners, including a state qualifier, will form the nucleus of the Hillsboro High School boys’ tennis team this spring in coach Stuart Holmes’ fourth season at the helm.
Grant Shewey, who competed at the Class 3-2-1A state tournament last year as a sophomore, will complement the experience of fellow letter-winners Jarod Hamm, a senior, and Harry Faber, a sophomore.
Shewey went 1-2 at state and finished the season with a 16-13 record.
Hamm played No. 1 doubles with the now graduated Taylor Hagen. The pair compiled a 16-12 record and just missed the state tournament when they lost in a tie-breaker in the qualifying match.
Faber played No. 2 doubles and finished with a 10-12 record in his freshmen season.
Completing the Trojans’ roster of eight are two senior exchange students, Diego Castillo and Nodari Lomidze, and sophomores Tyler Funk, Daniel Gray and Jeff Pritchard.
“The season is off to a good start, but with just a few practices it is too early to tell who will earn which varsity spots—and of course, that can change throughout the year,” Holmes said.
“Every day we will be looking to improve in practice and make progress throughout the season,” he added.
“Tennis provides a great opportunity to challenge yourself mentally as well as physically and we want to grow in both areas each day—whether at practice or in competition.”
Holmes declined to speculate how his team might do in the first year of the Central Kansas League, but he knows the competition will be tough at every meet the Trojans will enter.
“Certainly here in central Kansas, we get the opportunity to compete against some of the best 3A and 4A tennis players in the state,” he said.
Hillsboro will host two regular-season tournaments again this year. The tournaments are back-to-back on the schedule, with the Hillsboro Invitational slated for April 7 and the Trojan Invitational for April 12.
In addition, Hillsboro will host the Class 3-2-1A State Tennis Championship May 13-14 at the Sports Complex.
“It should be an exciting year,” Holmes said.