Youthful boys’ tennis squad successful early
Battling early season weather is always a challenge for the Baldwin High School boys’ tennis squad.
Thus far, the young Bulldogs have impressed their second-year coach Justin Hoffman.
“We have a lot of good players out this year,” Hoffman said. “We started out playing hard and competitive, which is nice. The major tournaments are coming up and we’ll face some tough competition in the next few weeks.”
They have competed in a few tournaments during the past two weeks, but Hoffman said the roster will keep changing until he finds a varsity roster he is confident to use.
“It’s still rotating,” he said. “I’m still trying to figure out who I want to play where. I don’t even have a definite varsity roster.”
On March 30, the Bulldogs opened the season at the Independence Invitational. BHS tied for first place as a team at the meet.
Junior Sam Cooper and sophomore McKinley Dick teamed up and won the No. 2 doubles competition. They went 3-0 by beating their opponents 6-2, 6-1 and 6-0.
“They played really well,” Hoffman said. “For a team that hasn’t played together, they played really well as a doubles team together.”
Junior Levi Moore and John Robbs were the No. 1 doubles team for Baldwin. They went 2-1 and placed third as a team. Hoffman said the singles players struggled with windy conditions to place fifth and sixth.
“Just like last year, Independence was a really windy place to the get the varsity team out for the first time,” Hoffman said. “The straight south to north wind made playing the net and hitting the lobs important in matches. We struggled with the wind, but that’s going to happen with younger players.”
The varsity Bulldogs will play four times next week, ending with the Baldwin Invitational on April 18.
“We are really gearing up for the teeth of the season,” Hoffman said. “One thing about tennis is that it doesn’t attract any of the knuckleheads, for the lack of a better term. We get good kids that are willing to learn. They work hard, so it’s just a matter of combining their talent with how much they are willing to work.”