By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
Northview boys' tennis has had an impressive run of success the last several years, buoyed by strong senior leadership that led them to five straight sectional titles. Last year the Knights had a four-senior group that locked down all three singles spots and one of the four doubles positions. However, that group has moved on and coach Craig Cook is charged with finding a lineup to carry on that sectional streak.
"We've got 17 kids this year, but we've got to replace four seniors that did a lot for us," Cook said. "We're coming off an unbeaten conference record and sectional title so we've got a lot of work to do to get close to where we were last year."
The Knights do have a pair of seniors returning that started in doubles spots most of last season in Dillon Reynolds and Cole Watts. Those two and Bryce Britton make up the three players that played in the sectional championship over Greencastle last year.
Reynolds missed half of the season due to a shoulder injury last year, but returns to bolster the doubles once again.
Cook also pointed to Garrett Baysinger, Skyler Holifield and Alec Coughanowr as players likely to see a lot of varsity time along with Devin Clark, Kyle Moore and Gaddis Baysinger.
"Garrett played a lot this summer and I can see Bryce and Garrett both stepping in to play singles," Cook said. "Cole will also probably play singles, but we don't have a set lineup yet. All three of those guys can beat each other on a given day so we'll be playing the hot hand. It's a lot different than years past."
The potential versatility in the singles could prove to be a bit of an advantage according to Cook.
"We should play all three of the teams in our sectional so if we can get a look at the teams during the season, maybe we can change the lineup a little," Cook said. "We'll definitely consider it.
"We'll probably have Dillon Reynolds and Skyler Holifield together in doubles and Coughanowr and Clark, but you can see Moore and Gaddis (Baysinger) in there too," Cook added. "We're playing a lot of match situations in practice."
The battle for the WIC crown could be a tough one as Cook pointed to Sullivan and Edgewood as two of the front-runners.
The Mustangs have won the WIC every three years since 2002, which would make this another season that Edgewood can challenge for the title. Edgewood returns its No. 1 singles player and a senior at No. 2. Also returning is Hayden Holmes at No.l doubles and Jared Horne returns after missing the entire 2010 tennis season along with half the basketball season recovering from an ACL injury.
Brown County returns its team MVP at No. 1 singles in Duncan Ricci along with all-conference doubles player, Jordan Rose. However, four players will move up from the JV team.
Owen Valley is led by a pair of freshmen as Kendal Norman should jump into the No. 1 singles position. Norman's father played collegiately at Johns Hopkins and his son has competed on the junior tourney circuit over the last couple of years. Josiah Henson is the other freshman, and he'll slot into the No. 2 singles spot. The Patriots also return Dalton Vest and Corbin Worland to team up in the No. 1 doubles spot for the third year in a row.
Northview opens the season on Wednesday at Bloomfield at 5 p.m.
|Aug. 17||at Bloomfield||5 p.m.|
|Aug. 18||vs. North Central||5 p.m.|
|Aug. 20||at Brown County||10 a.m.|
|Aug. 23||at Danville||5 p.m.|
|Aug. 27||at N. Montgomery Invite||9:30 a.m.|
|Aug. 30||at T.H. South||5 p.m.|
|Sept. 6||at Greencastle||5 p.m.|
|Sept. 8||vs. Sullivan||5 p.m.|
|Sept. 10||at T.H. North Tourney||9 a.m.|
|Sept. 12||vs. Rockville||5 p.m.|
|Sept. 13||at Edgewood||5 p.m.|
|Sept. 15||at West Vigo||5 p.m.|
|Sept. 19||at S. Vermillion||5 p.m.|
|Sept. 21||vs. Owen Valley||5 p.m.|
|Sept. 22||vs. T.H. North||5 p.m.|
|Sept. 24||Northview Invite||9 a.m.|
|Sept. 28||Tennis Sectional||5 p.m.|
|Sept. 29||Tennis Sectional||5 p.m.|