BAR HARBOR — It has been a cold couple of weeks of practice for the Mount Desert Island High School tennis teams, but according to varsity Coach Ben Rowell, they are well ahead of the game compared to last spring.
“We haven’t had to shovel two feet of snow off the courts like we did last year,” quipped Rowell. “So we’re just getting back into the swing and working on strokes and drills.”
Last year’s girls’ team took home the Eastern Maine Championship title and was state runner-up.
Three senior singles, players Ivy Wallace, Sarah Phelps and Maeve Geary, graduated last summer, raising a challenge of filling those voids on the varsity team.
“They were our top three players, and we’re trying to figure out who is going to step up and fill those roles and be a leader,” Rowell said.
The singles players this year might have a hard time in the beginning in terms of understanding the strokes and positioning because they will be coming in with more experience playing doubles.
“I think once we figure out who those players will be and we get through a few matches, they will develop confidence, and we will be in pretty good shape once again.”
Returning players and seniors on the team are Molly Corson and Gabby Link.
“We definitely have a strong girls’ team. We just need to iron out all the details,” he said. “It’s all about where they’re going to fit in.”
On the boys’ side, the challenge will arise in the doubles lineup and in “figuring out the combinations.”
Senior Kaleb Payson, junior Teddy Geary and sophomore Drake Janes will be the singles players on the varsity boys’ team.
“They are a great group and a lot of fun. They are working hard in practice and definitely love the game,” Rowell said. “It’s just a matter of getting a racket in their hands and getting them ready for the season.”
So far, practice has focused on forehand, backhand and serving drills.
“A lot of times, they struggle with the serves so we’re mixing in a few games to keep them energized,” he said. “We’re trying to do a little more conditioning this year, so we’ve been doing a lot of foot work drills in trying to get them up and going because the season happens pretty quickly once we do get going.”
The Trojans are set to host George Stevens Academy for a scrimmage game on Thursday, April 14, at 4 p.m.
The season opener against Old Town is set at home for Saturday, April 23, at noon.