Preston Wurtz rushes the net to return a shot at No. 2 singles.
Preston Wurtz rushes the net to return a shot at No. 2 singles.

   The Ripon High School boys’ tennis team is behind compared to most of its competition.

   Its new head coach — Ripon College student Zack Carlson —stepped down from his position last week due to health issues and wanting to focus on his studies, and half the team was just in China.

   But acting head coach Brent Sanderfoot hopes the Tigers’ experience can serve as the difference.

   “I am a first-year coach with the boys, so it’s tough to say this early, but I’m excited about the returning varsity players,” Sanderfoot said. “We have some real talent back this year and I’m hoping their work ethic will rub off on some of the younger players. Having the numbers we have also ensures some great competition.”

   Sanderfoot also is happy with the depth of the squad.

   “So far I am impressed with the numbers we have,” he said. “We have 22 athletes out for tennis and it’s showing to be a very competitive group. The team is getting along extremely well and they are extremely coachable.”

   Out of the 22 players, eight of them have varsity experience and figure to fill most of the 10 spots.

   Among them are senior Chris Lyke and junior Connor Banerjee.

Read the full story, which includes a breakdown of the team, in the April 20, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.