DuBOIS — This season will be sort of like ‘on the job training’ for the DuBois Area High School boys tennis team.
While the Beavers lost a big part of their starters from last season, they do have a few players returning to the team with experience. The trick will be to shuffle them around, at least for the start of the season, to see who fits in which position best.
Of the 12 players on the DuBois roster this season, other than most of the sophomores, only three are in the mix for the first time.
However, while they have some experience on the court, that may be a little misleading as only a couple bring back quality time.
“We’re still a fairly new team,” DuBois head coach Jenna Kirk said. “We lost a couple of our stronger players from last year but we do have a big, strong sophomore class this year.”
Senior Joe Hnat is the Beavers’ top returning singles player. Hnat played No. 1 singles for DuBois last season and, if he doesn’t return to that spot, will still find a role in the singles rotation as will junior Paul Brittain who also played some singles last season.
However, after that, there will be new roles to fill for just about everyone.
That leaves plenty of opportunities for some of the sophomores who make up half of the DuBois roster.
“There’s a lot of kids in (that class) that are really into it,” Kirk said. “Corey (Giles) worked all summer with us, and Noah (Knarr) was there quite a bit along. And Noah and Lucas (Knarr) have taken lessons quite a bit. So those three are pretty strong and have really improved and should help fill in the spots that are open from last year.”
Even then, that leaves plenty of openings in the lineup as the Beavers haven’t firmly set a starting lineup yet and continue to work their way through their team seeding tournament.
“From what I’ve seen so far, everybody has improved from last year,” Kirk said. “Some of them have been working on their own and even some of the new players have picked up on things pretty quickly. So, things have been coming along.”
DuBois will open the season with Hollidaysburg this afternoon.
Seniors: Joe Hnat, Ben Suslow, Nick Troisi, Zach Jaggi. Juniors: Paul Brittain, Drew Reiter. Sophomores: Corey Giles, Noah Knarr, Lucas Knarr, Dave Glass, Blaze Welpott, Jimmy Oberlin.