At a small school like Hauser, boys tennis coach John Pratt knows he needs some of the school’s better athletes to come out for tennis for the team to be successful.
The Jets haven’t had that luxury the past couple of years. They went 8-8 last season and lost to Columbus North in the first round of the sectional.
“In order for Hauser to be competitive, we need to be able to recruit basketball and baseball players,” Pratt said. “When Hauser tennis has been at its best, we were able to do that.”
The Jets return five of their seven varsity players, led by senior Will Rose at No. 1 singles. Senior Avery Tallent, who played No. 2 singles, and sophomore Sam Meek, who played No. 3 singles, are battling for the No. 2 singles spot.
Story continues below gallery
“It’s going to be interesting to see how the singles challenges work out in the next week,” Pratt said.
Senior Noah Miller and Luke Meier have played No. 2 doubles the past two years and could move up to No. 1 singles this season. Sophomore Justin Compton saw a lot of varsity action last season and is battling for a varsity spot, along with sophomores Jacob Rose, Jacob Johnson and Alex Gross.
Beyond that, Hauser has a few freshmen that could end up challenging for positions.
“This is my sixth year at Hauser, and in terms of overall depth, I’ve never had more,” Pratt said. “I have nine strong that are very competitive, which for us, is very, very good. We have four freshmen, all athletes, but they need to learn the game. We have a positive trend of adding four or five freshmen every year.”
Eagles coach Kevin Roush thinks his team can compete for the title in a revamped Western Indiana Conference. Four full-time varsity players return from a team that went 12-6.
“It has been a good summer for us,” Roush said. “We have a core group lifting weights, working on conditioning and playing tennis. I think that we will see some benefit from their hard work in the offseason.”
Seniors Maverick Patterson and Eli White played No. 2 and 3 singles last season. They’re battling for singles spots with junior Cash Myres, who battled injuries last season, junior Cole Smith and sophomore Abe Oliver.
“It is one of the first times in my career that I feel our singles line up might be better than our doubles,” Roush said. “We have about five players that could play in any of the three singles spots.”
Seniors Hunter Ellis and Zion Bunge will likely move up from No. 2 doubles to No. 1 doubles, and juniors Austin Roush and Jesse Williams look to step in at No. 2 doubles. Smith and Oliver could also play doubles.
The Panthers went 7-13 last season, but return six of the seven varsity players.
“This is the first year we don’t have to use somebody that just picked up a racquet to fill a roster spot,” Jennings coach Deron Brown said. “We have some experience coming back this year.”
Senior Owen Land returns at No. 1 singles. Seniors Adam Jackson and Avery Johnson played No. 1 doubles, but Jackson could move to No. 2 singles this year. Sophomore Austin Mills returns at No. 3 singles
Junior Luke Ertel and sophomore Justin Gasper return at No. 2 doubles, but Gasper could move up to No. 1 doubles with Johnson. Senior Bailey Wilder or sophomore Cody St. John could join Ertel at No. 2 doubles.
“Owen will be pretty solid at 1 (singles),” Brown said. “I was tempted to leave Adam and Avery at 1 doubles, but I want to give Adam a shot at singles. I think we’re cautiously optimistic about this year.”
The Lancers would have had all seven players returning from last season’s 4-12 team, but Zach Pendleton, who played No. 1 doubles, had decided to focus on golf.
Senior Kinser Bryant returns at No. 1 singles, and senior Kyle Pendleton is back at No. 2 singles. Senior Anthony Weber returns at No. 3 singles but is being pushed by freshman Colton Henderson.
Senior Dalton Bieker returns at No. 1 doubles, and sophomore Parker Bryant and junior Tommy Schneider played No. 2 doubles last season. Henderson or senior Chase Ford could fill the remaining doubles spot.
“I have some talent,” Edinburgh coach Pete Khensouri said. “We still have some seniors in key positions. The freshman, Colton, is a really talented kid. I saw him play basketball in eighth grade, and I convinced him to come out for tennis. He’s an athletic kid.”
The Owls will try for a winning season after going 5-12 last year.
Junior Alex Berry returns at No. 1 singles. Sophomore Ty McCory played No. 2 and 3 singles and will likely be at No. 2 singles. Freshman Adam Berry could play No. 3 singles or No. 2 doubles, and senior Sam Voss, who saw some varsity action last season, could play No. 2 or 3 singles.
Senior Josiah Rudge and junior Grant Handloser played No. 2 doubles last year and could move up to No. 1 doubles. Senior Hao Li could play No. 3 singles or No. 2 doubles, and senior Tanner Johnson could play doubles.
“We’re going to be a little shy in some spots, but we definitely have some experience,” Seymour coach Brad Emerson said. “It’s just a matter of filling in some spots. We’re not going to be outstanding, but we’ll be competitive. We’ll give some teams a run for their money.”
The Cougars return five varsity players from a team that went 1-14.
Senior Andrew Rodriguez at No. 1 singles, junior Jonathan Keith at No. 2 singles and senior Tanner Prewitt at No. 3 singles are all back. Sophomore Bailey Baker and sophomore Matthew Stuckwisch, who played No. 2 doubles, will likely move up to No. 1 doubles.
A host of freshmen and a couple of sophomores are battling for the No. 2 doubles spots.
“We know what we have with the five,” Trinity coach Mark Voss said. “We just have to figure out where we’re going with the rest of the kids. I think we have some guys that have improved from last year from first picking up a racquet. With Trinity not having a football team this year, we have some influx in numbers.”
The 2015 Hauser boys tennis schedule:
Aug. 18;Shelbyville;4:30 p.m.
Aug. 20;Brown County;4:30 p.m.
Aug. 24;Milan;4:30 p.m.
Aug. 27;at Eastern Hancock;5 p.m.
Sept. 1;Southwestern (Shelby);4:30 p.m.
Sept. 3;at Indian Creek;4:30 p.m.
Sept. 7;Edinburgh;4:30 p.m.
Sept. 8;at Triton Central;4:30 p.m.
Sept. 10;at Morristown;4:30 p.m.
Sept. 14;Knightstown;5 p.m.
Sept. 15;Waldron;4:30 p.m.
Sept. 17;at Greensburg;4:30 p.m.
Sept. 24;at Oldenburg Academy;5 p.m.
Sept. 26;Hauser Classic;9 a.m.
Sept. 29;at Indianapolis Lutheran;Sept. 29