The Augusta High boys tennis team has a lot of senior leadership this season, but it doesn’t translate to a bunch of varsity experience coming back.
The Orioles play their first meet this afternoon in the Wellington Invitational, and AHS boys tennis head coach Brian Hallmark said there are still a number of questions that will have to be answered after a couple of tournaments.
“We’re old, but we’re inexperienced,” Hallmark said. “We have our varsity team set up right now, but we don’t have who will team up with who in our doubles.”
Senior Christian Ingalls, a Southwestern College signee, will play in the No. 1 singles spot for the Orioles. Junior Sheldon Smith competes in the No. 2 singles position.
“Christian has played some singles and doubles at the varsity level, but he has never been in the No. 1 spot,” Hallmark said. “Sheldon has played some doubles at the varsity level, and he spent his time between varsity and JV last year.”
The four players who will be playing doubles for the Orioles are seniors Alan Gehlen, Justin Parker and Aaron Casner, and junior Stephen Henry.
“We’re looking for chemistry right now to figure out who we put together on the court,” Hallmark said.
Hallmark said the key for the Orioles to be successful is very simple: keep the ball in play.
“At the high school level, unless you meet a super player, if you keep the ball in play three or four times in a row usually wins the point. We’re just preaching about ball play and let the opponent make the mistakes.”