Wildcat tennis strives to improve

Josh Evans returns a forehand shot during practice.  - Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times
Josh Evans returns a forehand shot during practice.
— image credit: Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times

In his 11th season as Oak Harbor High School’s head boys tennis coach, Horace Mells said the Wildcats will be putting a somewhat inexperienced team on the court this season.

“I got some of the kids on the roster out playing this summer and they showed a lot of improvement from last year,” Mells said.

In 2008, the Wildcats were strong in singles matches, like they are nearly every year, but had some problems in doubles.

As a result, Oak Harbor finished the season with a 4-11 record.

Oak Harbor returns a pair of seniors to the court, Derek Thomas, who was the number-1 singles player last season, and Chris Holbrook, who played doubles.

Also returning are juniors Josh Evans, Max O’Dell and Geoff Worley.

Evans was the number-four singles players last season while O’Dell and Worley were both on doubles teams.

Mells said he will probably have to use either Holbrook, O’Dell or Worley, maybe all three as singles players in 2009.

The final returnee is sophomore Tyler Dodge, who was another doubles player.

The Wildcat roster is loaded with a number of young players, so the future of Oak Harbor tennis is looking bright

These players include Ben Cardinal, David DeGuzman, Chase Edwards, Ben Pralle, Brandon Vagt, Eric Berner, Kevin Green and Will Southard.

“It’s going to be tough again for us,” Mells said. “Snohomish and Stanwood always have good teams and I expect Everett, Cascade and Lake Stevens will be strong as well.”

Oak Harbor opens the season Tuesday, Sept. 8, against Monroe.

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