By Nathan Steiner
Alec Shue, a senior at Red Lion Area Senior High School, is excited for the upcoming tennis season. Working up to this year, Shue has played tennis all of his life, and is very passionate about the sport.
Shue says that the goal for the season is for the team to move onto districts, and as a personal goal, to get second in counties.
When asked what his role as a leader consisted of, he described that he likes to lead by example. “I would say i'm more of a silent leader,” Shue said. “I believe that it's the best way to show the younger kids on the team how to handle themselves, and how to play a solid match of tennis.”
By Cora Beyer
The mid-March snow has barely melted, but the Red Lion boys’ tennis team is back in full swing with lots of new additions.
The team has grown considerably this season with a total of six new players joining the returning players.
“We have a pretty young team this year,” senior varsity player Kyle Palmieri said. “We have a lot of new talent, which is good for the team’s progression.”
A few of the new teammates are playing tennis for the very first time this season. “I’ve never played tennis before, but I was easily talked into it,” new player and junior Dylan Khuc said. “I really enjoy being on the team and learning about the sport.”
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.
By Helen Zeidman
Even though the snow has barely melted from the courts, the boys’ tennis season is now in full swing.
The team has 16 players this season, which is two players down from last year. According to Mrs. Vasellas, the head coach of the boys’ tennis team, they lost two starters from last year, Angel and Max Moyer.
Regardless of the loss, Vasellas is hopeful for this season.
“Sports have cycles over the years. One year is loaded with players, and the next you end up losing key players. That is just how it works,” Vasellas said.
They may have lost a couple of players, but the team is still strong.
The team is led by Sam Innerst, the first ranked player on the team. Innerst has been starting since his freshman year and has held the number one position since his sophomore year.
Player ranking is determined by playing a series of challenge matches. Each player will challenge other players in matches and the winner will move up the ranking ladder. The players are ranked by the number of games they won against their teammates.
This ranking determines who players will face off against on other teams. The number one players will play the number one player from the other team.
The number two seed this year is Alec Shue, a freshman who made his debut on the team this year.
Junior Alex Ohme plays as the third seed.
Nicholas Stare, also a junior, is playing as the fourth seed on team, and senior Dylan Reichard is playing in the fifth spot.
All of the top five seeds are expected to alternate for doubles varsity with Dylan Reichard and Chase McKnight. So far, Sam Innerst and Alec Shue, and Alec Gayrama and Nicholas Stare have been paired for doubles matches.
Mrs. Vasellas has the same goal this year as every other year she coached.
“Every year my goal is to win the championship. It is always a good goal to have even though it is not always realistic.” Vasellas said. “I don’t know what kind of coach I’d be without a goal.”
The team came close to that goal last year, when they tied for third place in their division with Dallastown and New Oxford.
Ultimately, Vasellas just wants the best for her team.
“I look forward to the chance of bettering our record from last year.” Vasellas said.
In order to make that goal happen, the team trains intensely, as playing tennis requires more than just hitting a ball with a racquet.
The boys’ tennis team is on their way to do even better this year, but the successful group was not made overnight.
Their practices during the season cater to the different skill levels of the players and help everyone improve.
According to Vasellas, the practices start with a standard warm-up that includes stretching and running. Afterward, the team practices singles and doubles drills to perfect their technique. Then, the fun begins.
“In each practice, we also try to include some singles and doubles play which helps prepare the players for match play,” Vasellas said.
According to Mr. Small, an assistant coach of the team, the boys practice their skills all year.
“We do a lot of off-season practicing,” Mr. Small, an assistant coach, said. “Players do clinics, lessons, and various other things to keep up.”
When the weather makes it impossible to practice outside, the players continue to train indoors.
“From December to the first day of practice, we go indoors at Wisehaven to play and practice,” Vasellas said. “This would be only one time per week for the students who want to participate however, several of the players take lessons or clinics or play in leagues in addition.”
The summer is also a critical time for tennis training.
“During the summer we have open courts where the players can work on skills and play,” Vasellas said. “We also had the players do strength training, conditioning and agility drills over the summer.”
The players do not take the opportunity to train for granted.
“This winter, I went to Wisehaven to practice with the team,” Levi Jones, a sophomore on the team, said. “I learned and became a lot better.”
Tennis may be a lot of work, but the players think the work is worth being a together as a team.
“I like the people that I got to meet on the team,” Jones said. “I have gotten to meet a lot of people who are of different backgrounds.”
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