South Kitsap boys tennis coach Mark Myers graduated so many players that he was afraid the Wolves would not be able to field a varsity squad.
That was until his few returnees got involved.
“They got their friends to come out, so I’ve got a lot of good athletes,” Myers said. “They’re learning to play tennis. I like them — they’re scrappers.”
The Wolves return a pair of players, senior Caleb Bray and junior Aaron Scott, and they are expected to be the two varsity singles players. They faced off in a challenge match Monday with Bray prevailing.
Bray is the only senior on the team.
“We lost a ton,” Myers said. “We’re a super young team.”
Myers said he was not joking about not having enough players to field a squad. He said that fear led to a few restless nights.
“We don’t have a tennis development program,” he said. “I’m thankful for Aaron, Caleb and Davis (Carlsen) for getting their buddies out here.”
While his team lacks experience, Myers said it is an athletic group. He also praised their work ethic. Nearly 30 minutes after practice Monday, several players still were competing on the courts.
“It’s fun,” Myers said. “They’re all enthusiastic and want to learn.”
While the singles positions appear solidified, many others were competing for positions on the three doubles teams. Carlsen and junior newcomers Nathan Archuleta and Drew Dickey appeared in place to earn spots. Connor Sharp, a junior, also has impressed Myers. But Myers noted Sharp was not eligible for the team’s first match, which was Thursday at Mount Tahoma, because he lacked the required number of practices.
Despite that, Myers likes his team even though it lacks the experience to “win the world.”
“I think we’re actually going to surprise some people,” he said. “I think they’re going to out-will some people.”