Written by Don Ratzlaff Thursday, 27 March 2008 08:52
He’ll be joined by four other returning letter-winners: Mathew Brown, Ben Heyen, Mark Prieb, all seniors, and sophomore Taylor Hagen.
“Of course, each year players must earn varsity spots, but it is nice to have a number of returning lettermen,” said Stuart Holmes, who is in his first year as head coach.
Shewey will likely return to a singles role. Brown, Heyen, Prieb and Hagen all played mostly doubles last year, but Holmes said some of them will probably play a combination of singles and doubles in the early-season meets before this year’s lineup is set.
In addition to that core of five players, Holmes has four juniors, four sophomores and two freshmen vying for playing time.
The juniors are Nolan Dirks, Joe Fisher, Ben Gottsch and Brandon McMillen. Samuel Bookless, Jonathan King and Dimitri McClelland will battle as sophomores while freshmen Jared Hamm and Justin King cap the talent pool.
“We’ll focus on all players, whether they are beginners or veterans, helping them to improve and have a positive experience,” Holmes said.
The first-year coach succeeds Kory Unruh, who led the program the past six season.
Holmes is no stranger to tennis, having competed for Central Christian College of McPherson, where he set the school record for career wins. Holmes also coached girls’ high school tennis in Coldwater before the district reorganized as South Central.
Trojan tennis fans will be treated to at least three home tournaments this season. In addition to the traditional Hillsboro Invitational on April 3 and the Trojan Invitational on April 15, the team will play host to the Mid-Central Activities Association league tournament April 28.
The site of this year’s regional tournament is yet to be determined.
Hillsboro opens its season Thursday, March 27, at Conway Springs. Action is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.