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By Jimmie Earls
Sun Sports Writer
“Ok, we’re going to start with a 20-mile run with full packs!”, exclaimed Washington County High School tennis coach Steve Schubart. Of course Schubart was kidding with his players, but he knows that conditioning and building endurance will be important.
The 2009 tennis season is shaping up to be an interesting one for Washington County High School.
“I don’t know if we can repeat our trophy-winning team of last year, but we’re going to try,” said Schubart. “I think we’re going to be fairly successful this year. We have some improvement in both boys and girls over last year.”
Schubart has some new talent on the team this year, and he’s confident that this will be a year to watch. He also has high hopes for junior Harrison Simms, who has improved since last season. Schubart plans to play Simms in singles action.
“We have mostly sophomores and juniors this year,” added Schubart. “Kristen Harrod is my only senior. We don’t have any freshmen. We could use some.”
Schubert feels confident that some good things are in store this year. This year the tennis Commanderettes have eight girls on the team while the Commanders have 10 players.
Washington County opens the season at Campbellsville on March 25, followed by road trips to Nelson County on March 26, Bethlehem on April 6 and Adair County on April 7. Washington County’s first home matches take place April 9 when they host Hardin County.
WC will play at home only five times this year. Schubart says the condition of the courts at Idle Hour Park played a role in scheduling games. The poor conditions were evident during practice as the wind blew tennis balls out of bounds and the playing surfaces had seen better days long ago. Plus there was no visible area for spectators.
“The boys and girls play at the same time, which overloads our courts here,” Schubart said. “We really could use six courts. That would be nice. Maybe the powers that be can set aside some of that stimulus money. I think we need an earmark for indoor tennis courts in Springfield. That would be a very good economic boon to the area.”
The city plans to repaint the playing surfaces later this year, but Idle Hour Park director Bernard Smalley said the work will not be done in time for the high school season and will most likely be done by late May, before a regional tournament starts in August.
Schubart and his team invite everyone to bring a lawn chair and enjoy some spectacular tennis excitement this year.