Rather surprisingly, the spring sports season at Hood River Valley High School has already begun.
With any luck, the boys tennis team will have played three matches by the end of this week, against The Dalles (Monday), La Salle (Tuesday) and North Salem (Friday).
And, just like seasons past, the mid-March weather still may be a factor. But if Monday’s blue skies were any indication, the 2003 season may be full of surprises.
That’s what HRV boys tennis coach Shayla Moline hopes, anyway.
“We lost two varsity players, but inherited two solid freshmen who will be able to fill in,” she said. “Both Matt Byrne and Jimmy Oates will be playing varsity, and I believe we have a deeper team than last year.”
Besides its two young warriors, HRV will also rely on sophomore Alec Asbridge, who played No. 1 singles as a freshman in 2002.
The remaining spots on the varsity roster will be filled by juniors Sean Ritter, Cam Emerson, Alex Lozano and Erin Herman, sophomores Bruce Chiang and Joseph Yang, and senior Joseph Broschart.
Moline will likely adjust her lineup frequently, but the doubles teams of Herman/Emerson and Ritter/Broschart had success in 2002, and will provide a solid foundation around Asbridge, Byrne and Oates on the singles side.
The Eagles will begin Intermountain Conference competition for the first time in 2003, and how they do is anyone’s guess.
“It’s going to be a tough league for us,” Moline said. “We have some work to do, but our returning players look stronger both physically and mentally. I’m excited to see what we can do.”