Augusta's boys tennis team didn't have the strongest start to the season Tuesday at the Wellington Quad.
While in the van on the way back from Wellington, the kids talked about all the homework they had to do. Coach Brian Hallmark offered to take the Orioles straight home, but they quickly refuted the notion of not going to Jason's Deli, the team's traditional spot after every tournament.
Several Orioles, led by seniors Dustin Blake and Isaac Gonzalez, have a great chemistry together that bonds the team both on and off the court.
Hallmark doesn't have a lot of numbers out for the team this year, but with the group he does have, there is plenty of team spirit.
"I love the kids. They have great attitudes," Hallmark said.
While none of the Orioles really play tennis all year long to put themselves on the same level as the powerhouse schools in the area, the Orioles have plenty of goals on a day-to-day basis.
"We try to be as consistent as possible, try to keep it in play," Hallmark said.
Gonzalez and Dustin Blake will be the team's top doubles pairing. Chase Wolf and Cody Reynoso, both of whom got extended play time on the junior varsity level, will start at No. 2 doubles.
Newcoming senior Brenan Wiswell will attempt to handle No. 1 singles, which means facing opponents' top players. Jacob Lowery, who won the Orioles' lone match Tuesday, will start at No. 2 singles.
Hallmark does have an added benefit to a smaller team. Not only does he get to work more closely with each player, but he will be able to place them where they're most comfortable. For the first time, Hallmark is letting the players sort of choose where they want to play each tournament. The Orioles have better opportunities to figure out with whom they're most comfortable to play.