John Bird returns a shot in the Everett match Thursday. The Oak Harbor senior will respresent the Wildcats in the division tournament later this month. (Photo by John Fisken)

Wildcats getting ready for postseason / Tennis

With the regular season nearing an end, the Oak Harbor High School tennis team will soon turn its attention to the postseason.

The Wildcats, who lost 6-1 to visiting Everett Thursday, Oct. 5, complete the regular season against Marysville-Pilchuck (2-8, 4-10) at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10, at Totem Middle School.

The North Division tournament is 1 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 17 and 18, at Snohomish.

Oak Harbor coach Horace Mells said the weeklong layoff between the final regular season match and the tournament will give him extra time to focus on those Oak Harbor players who will compete in the postseason.

Junior Nathanael Thompson and senior John Bird will represent Oak Harbor in the divisional singles tournament, while seniors Trenton Cone, Claude Thrailkill and Ryan Mene and sophomore Nick Krantz will play in the doubles tournament.

How the doubles players will pair up has not been determined.

One of the preseason team goals for the Wildcats, according to Mells, was to place in the top three in the division standings. With the loss to Everett, Oak Harbor fell to 3-8 in Wesco play (4-11 overall) and into fifth place.

For Oak Harbor to improve its ranking among its league foes in the future, the players need to “work on their game in the off-season,” Mells said.

“Our lack of experience and development hurt us,” he said. “We don’t have the proper skills.”

Mells noted that usually only three or four players practice out of season, and that number needs to increase for the team’s win total to rise.

“When you are not working on your game, someone else is,” Mells added. “You are losing ground.”

One of the Wildcats who has put in the time is No. 1 singles player Thompson.

“He will grow a lot over the next year,” Mells said. “He is going to be a good one.”

Mells also likes the development of Krantz and senior Jhaylan Munger, who came out for tennis for the first time this spring.

Krantz worked his way up to third and Munger sixth on the team’s depth chart.

Mells also praised Sam Peek: “It’s unusual for a freshman to make the varsity team.”

Everett 6, Oak Harbor 1

Singles: 1, Thompson lost 6-1, 6-0; 2, Bird lost 6-3, 6-4; 3, Krantz lost 6-1, 6-3; 4, Thrailkill won 6-1, 6-3.

Doubles: 1, Cone/Mene lost 6-1, 6-3; 2, Munger/Ethan Wilson lost 6-0, 6-3; 3, Mason Rhodes/Ridgely Briddell lost 6-1, 6-1.

Trenton Cone competes against Everett in first doubles Thursday. (Photo by John Fisken)

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