A new season brings many new challenges for the London High School boys tennis team, but coach Jason Clark likes the makeup of his team and is excited to see what lies ahead.
“I’m looking forward to the spring season,” Clark said. “I have some wonderful returning players and I’m looking forward to see how they have matured.”
The coach has a collection of veteran players he will be counting on to lead the way. The Red Raiders will face a tougher schedule with the move to the new Mid-State League Ohio Division. With the likes of Columbus Academy, Bexley and Worthington Christian all on the schedule, things will surely be tougher on a daily basis.
“I have three young men I’m looking to help lead the way, they are Jack Spahn, Colin Dach, and Kyle Weese,” the coach said. “I think it is an opportunity to have my guys face opponents who will force them to step up their games. Now, on the down side there are players who have literally played tennis their entire lives and some of my players don’t touch a tennis racket until their freshman year. So that has us trying to play catch up from day one.”
The coach said he is allowing his players to dictate who plays where by a series of challenges matches throughout the preseason and during the season.
“I don’t have a set list of who is playing where. I allow my players to challenge other players for positions,” Clark said. “Every year I try to do a tournament for my players to determine who is playing where. This allows me to follow OHSAA rules by having my best player play at first singles and so on.”
The coach is hoping his athletes can have success on the court but is hoping for more of it.
“My expectations for this year are the same as every year,” Clark said. “I expect my players to go out and play to their best ability. I also expect my players to put school before sports. I think we forget that they are ‘Student Athletes’ and there is a reason that student comes first in that title.”
The team will play at Hamilton Township Wednesday, April 9, before hosting Grandview Thursday, April 10. Both matches are scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.
Chris Miles can be reached at (740) 852-1616 ext. 18, or via Twitter @MadPressSports.