Connellsville boys tennis team has optimistic expectations
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Connellsville boys tennis team has had its share of struggles in recent seasons, but a commitment to improve seems to be evident from the group that will comprise this season's squad.
“They are enthusiastic,” Connellsville coach Bill Ricks said. “They got in touch with me before the season, and they were wanting to know when the courts would open back up.”
Eight of the players on this year's team have varsity experience and many will be projected as starters. Lawrence Becker, Thomas Clark, Tristan Kozel, Tyler McFadden, Jaycob Miller, Dan Starr and Roy Starr comprise a veteran senior group. Junior Orville Strauser is also a returning player.
Clark is projected to play at first singles. McFadden is slotted to fill the second singles position. The rest of the returning players likely will hold down the third singles spot as well as the four positions on the two doubles teams. Because much of the team's experience stems from the senior class, Ricks is hoping that the group can be leaders.
“I'm hoping they can put it together for their senior season,” Ricks said.
Ricks knows that having success in Section 1-AAA ultimately depends on the players.
“I've got returners coming back, and that's not bad,” Ricks said. “But the play has to come from the players. What you put into this sport is what you get out of it.”
That message seems to have sunk in with the players.
“Obviously, we are older now and have a lot more experience,” McFadden said. “We've gone out and practiced by ourselves (prior to the start of the season). Plus more experience and playing time will help us.”
Ricks pointed out that the team is still very much a work in progress.
“We have more than enough to work on, and I'm hoping they can keep an open mind and go out there and listen and learn,” Ricks said.
McFadden noted that basic aspects of the sport like footwork are things that have been stressed in practice, hoping that will translate into success on the court.
“We want to at least make the playoffs, and if it goes well, we'll try to get a win in the first round,” Ricks said.
Ricks, like his players, is anxious for the season to begin.
“I'm excited,” Ricks said. “I've been inside the whole winter, so it's nice to get outside and see the reaction on their faces.”
Jason Black is the Local Sports Editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers WR Bryant’s suspension upheld
- Reports: Steelers trade for Jaguars kicker Scobee
- Aliquippa RB Bronaugh to miss season after cancer diagnosis
- Prisoner mistakenly released from Allegheny County Jail to fight extradition
- Biden to visit Pittsburgh on Labor Day
- Animal welfare groups see opportunities in dialogue about Vick signing
- Pastor who advocated against removal of Ten Commandments monument dies at Connellsville hospital
- Steelworkers scoff at ATI earnings claim
- No certainty for Pirates’ call-up veterans
- New Kensington police seek shooting suspect
- RB Williams believes he’s making seamless transition to Steelers