Matthew Kolden is one of the veteran player back this year for the Wildcats. (Photo by John Fisken)

Fall prep preview / Oak Harbor tennis

A mixture of returning players and newcomers will fill out the lineup for the Oak Harbor High School tennis team this fall.

The Wildcats welcome back five lettermen, seniors John Bird, Ryan Mene, Trenton Cone and Matthew Kolden and junior Nathanael Thompson.

As of Tuesday, Thompson was slated to play No. 1 singles for coach Horace Mells.

Bird and Mene are set for second and fourth singles, respectively, and newcomer senior Claude Thrailkill is pencilled in for third singles, according to Mells.

Cone and senior Jhaylan Munger are teaming up in first doubles; sophomore Ridgely Briddell and freshman Sam Peek will play second singles; and senior Edison Soliman and sophomore Nick Krantz are set for third doubles.

Kolden and juniors Mason Rhodes and Cullen Wood are in the running to fill in in doubles.

“With five returning varsity players, our strength will be in singles,” Mells said.

The team’s weakness, he added, is in doubles play, especially during the early part of the season as the players are developing their skills and learning doubles strategy and play.

“Since all the players have indicated that they are willing to listen, try new things and work hard, my expectation is to compete at the maximum of our abilities and to finish in the top three within our division,” Mells said.

Oak Harbor (3-13, 1-11 last year) plays at Lynnwood at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5. The first home match is at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, with Mount Vernon.