Expanded boys tennis team starts season strong

Doubles domination develops early on for boys tennis


Emily Kruse

Freshman Ryan Hardie returns the ball during tennis practice on April 4. “You have to practice and learn you will make mistakes and you got to learn from your mistake,” Hardie said. “Getting down the mental toughness that you need to play tennis, like if you make a mistake you got to power through it. That’s the one thing you can’t practice and have to focus on that.”

By Daniel Davidson, Sports Editor

The tennis season opened at the Emporia Invitational with doubles team junior Kanak Masten and senior Cooper Wright taking first place. Junior Aiden Von Feldt also took third in three singles.

“I saw some good things,” Coach Chris Marshall said. “I think the players I took showed promise and with hard work could really help us this year.”

Finishing ninth at state last year, Masten and Wright are ready to keep leading the team in points.

They will also take charge of a wave of newcomers this year. With 38 members, compared to last year’s 14, all the tennis courts are finally getting filled at practice.

“We got a lot of people out,” senior Ryan Logan said. “We have a lot of talent and can really do something special this year.”

This will Marshall’s 10th year as head coach.

“He focuses on the essentials,” sophomore Drew Dean said, “and gets us to the place we need to be to get those points.”

Masten and Wright are likely to be a standout duo for the team this season and have been practicing during the off-season to come prepared.

“What sets them apart from our other players,” Marshall said, “is their ability to hit the ball to the right spot consistently.”

They are not the only doubles pair to watch, however. During the City Series against Free State and Bishop Seabury, Logan and Dunn took third in a 8-4 win against Free State. Masten and Wright took second, but it was not enough for the Lions to take the city title.

Masten said his second year with Wright will be a special one.

“Last year we were not expecting to get as far as we did,” Masten said. “This year, I think we have high expectations, but we’re playing against new, different opponents.”

A cold, rainy start to the spring season of tennis has not watered down team spirits.

“The LHS boys tennis is bigger and better than ever,” Dean said.