Cardinal boys' work to defend Northeast A League tennis title
As has been the case with their counterparts on the girls’ side, it’s been a challenge to even get on the court in the first place for Medical Lake’s boys’ tennis co-head coach Jake Wesselman.
As of last week the team had just nine practices outside, and played only three matches, giving their coach little on which to go in painting a true picture of his squad.
“It’s not ideal, but we’re not the only ones in that boat,” he said, referencing the fact that not one Northeast A League program had escaped the wet and cold spring. Now it will be a flood of matches and a race through April with virtually non-stop play, Wesselman said.
One positive is the Cardinals come off winning a second consecutive NEA regular season title, and have a number of key players returning.
The Cardinals return their No. 1 singles player and state qualifier, Noah Ray. “We had a pretty good idea he would stay at No. 1 unless somebody transferred in,” Wesselman said.
Medical Lake lost its top doubles team of Isiah Farmen and Alex Neder, the top seeded duo from the NEA, to graduation, but seem to have solid replacements.
No. 2 doubles from 2016, Trevor Nilles, a senior, is back, and will play No. 1 with Swedish exchange student Folke Schroder-Frykhammer. “He’s played a nice leadership role,” Wesselman said of Nilles.
Jared Bergeron and Caleb Snow are in the No. 2 slot, while Ethan Houser and Ethan Brown recently paired at No. 3 doubles. The rest of the lineup is fluid.
“We’ve had challenge matches and people playing in different positions,” Wesselman said, trying to get a better feel for things.
While not ready to put things into ink just yet, Wesselman said,”We’re on the road to being successful, but there are a lot of questions until there’s more match time.”
“I’m seeing things that I like so far,” he added. “I’m thinking we will be successful as long as we can keep our heads straight.”
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.