Red Lion high school softball players, Haley Taylor and Megan Confer and the rest of their teams are preparing for this season.
Taylor and Confer both play left field. They are important because they help their team become more efficient by helping to get the ball if it travels beyond the other player’s reach.
“We are trying to get the team together and connect on the field,” sophomore Taylor said.
By Helen Zeidman
Junior Editor in Chief
The boys tennis team is facing many challenges and changes this season.
They lost two starters last year, including Sam Innerst who had been the team’s leader throughout his tennis career. Senior Nicholas Stare stepped up to the baseline this year as the team’s number one seed for the beginning of the season.
The team also has new leadership this year, with Ryan Small being the head coach. Small was the assistant coach last year, with the help of Head Coach Ronda Vasellas and Coach Jeffrey Fix.
“The team has changed in many ways this season. One of the biggest ways is we are missing an assistant coach, Jeff Fix, who passed away last year,” Coach Small said. “The team has definitely missed his guidance and unwavering support, but they definitely would have made him proud so far this season.”
In addition to the team’s new guidance, the varsity lineup has drastically changed since last year. The varsity’s seeded line up for this season is sophomore Alec Shue, senior Nicholas Stare, senior Alex Ohme, senior Chase McKnight, and junior Riley Krout. The varsity doubles teams are Stare and McKnight as the first seed and then Ohme and Krout as the second seed.
Alec Shue, a sophomore who was the second seed for the team last year, had surgery on his right hand, preventing him from playing in the beginning of the season. Despite still not being able to use his dominant right hand to play, he still played on the team with his left hand. He even won his first varsity match of the season against Spring Grove, pulling out the win in three long sets.
Shue has recently been cleared to play with his right hand for the rest of the season, so he was able to claim his position as the number one seed on the team.
The lineup for the tennis season is subject to change since the team has challenge matches throughout the season to update the lineup seeds. This means that players can challenge the player directly above them in the bracket to a match.
If the challenger wins two matches, then they move up in the lineup. Several junior varsity players are planning to move up the ladder to advance their position with challenge matches.
Another change for the new season is the influx of new players to the team. There are seven new players to the team this season. A lot of freshman decided to join the team this year, including Mason Seredych.
“I went to Tennis for Kids here at the high school for the past two years,” Seredych said. “Since I liked it so much, I decided to play at the high school.”
All of the players, even the freshman who are new to the team, are eager to prove themselves this season and improve their game skills.
“I want to get as much practice as I need. I would like to work to challenge the person in front of me to move up in the lineup,” Seredych said.
Coach Small has similarly ambitious goals for the team.
“The goals for this season are to represent our school, community, and team with class and dignity at all times, play intelligent tennis, and solidify all aspects of our game, mental and physical,” Coach Small said.
Despite the changes that are evident in the team, they are determined to go into the season fighting. The team has already swept Bermudian Springs and Northeastern and won against Elizabethtown.
They will face Central York at home on April 20 at 3:30 New Oxford at home on April 22 at 3:30.
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