Led by a returning state qualifier, the Hillsboro boys? tennis team is upbeat about the upcoming campaign, according to coach Stuart Holmes.
?The guys have been playing well in practice and we?re looking forward to another great season,? Holmes said.
Pacing the Trojans will be senior Grant Shewey, who placed sixth in singles at the Class 3A state tennis tournament last year and posted a 22-8 season record.
?Grant continues to work on his game and seems mentally prepared for another season of battles at No. 1 singles,? Holmes said.
Although losing senior Jarod Hamm, who fell one match short of qualifying for state last year, this year?s team will be fortified by four juniors returning as letter-winners: Harry Faber, Tyler Funk, Daniel Gray and Jeff Pritchard.
?All these guys have some good experience and have the potential to be competitive this year if they continue to improve all aspects of their game,? Holmes said.
?Newcomers to the team are sophomores Ty Carey and River Cecil, who are both working hard to develop their strokes and learn the game of tennis.?
Holmes said a desire to improve will be key for this year?s team if it hopes to improve on the Trojans? fifth-place finish in last year?s seven-team Central Kansas League tournament, which was dominated by Smoky Valley and Hesston.
A schedule loaded with tough competition is common in this part of the state?but it can have benefits for the post-season, according to Holmes.
?Certainly here in central Kansas, we get to play against some of the top competition in 3A and 4A in the state, so that should help us toward the end of the year when we compete in league, regionals and state.?
This season Hillsboro will again host its two regular-season invitational tournaments at the Sports Com?plex: the Hillsboro Invitational April 5 and the Trojan Invita?tional April 17.
But this year the CKL tournament will be coming to town April 30, as well as a 3A regional tournament May 4.
Hillsboro will open play Thursday, March 29, when the Trojans compete at Conway Springs. Matches begin at 3 p.m.