Trojan tennis team filled with veterans, youth
At the end of the season, Hillsboro High School boys' tennis coach Stuart Holmes will say goodbye to three seniors, Mathew Brown, Ben Heyen, and Mark Prieb — never an easy thing to do.
Fortunately for him, he has 11 underclassmen on the team as well.
Each class has at least two representatives on the team, led by six juniors, including Clay Shewey, who placed eighth last season at the state tournament.
Other juniors include Nolan Dirks, Joe Fisher, Ben Gottsch, and Brandon McMillen.
Sophomores on the team include Sam Bookless, Taylor Hagan, Jonathan King, and Dimitri McClelland.
Freshmen Jarod Hamm and Justin King fill out the final two roster spots.
Shewey is the only returning varsity singles player, and he will be joined by returning doubles players Brown, Heyen, Prieb, and Hagan.
Holmes said some players, especially Hagan, will be playing both singles and doubles at the start of the season before he sets the final lineup.
The coach said no matter the situation the previous years, the lineup is always wide open.
"Of course, each year players must earn varsity spots, but it is nice to have a number of returning lettermen," Holmes said.
With that said, younger players sometimes can make surprise impressions, and Holmes understands that.
"We'll focus on all our players, whether they are beginners or veterans improving and having a positive experience," he said.