HAVING A BALL MAKING A RACQUET

Middle-schoolers fill PHS courts for spring tennis

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Abby Landwehr

Spring tennis at PHS has drawn a record number of eighth-graders this year.

The tennis courts have been more crowded than usual this spring.

While spring tennis attracts returning high school payers and eighth-graders who might play in the fall as freshmen, this spring seventh-graders are participating.

“I think it’s an amazing situation to have so many kids excited about playing tennis,” said one of the tennis instructors Mr. Brandon Preator. “We started doing middle school tennis a long time ago and it’s really helped our high school program.”

While the increase in numbers has been impressive, managing all those bodies can be a challenge.

“It’s good lots of people are playing but at the same time I think it’s like a little overboard,” eighth-grader Lila Asay said. ”I think the girls get a lot more practice just because there isn’t as many rowdy boys and also there is less girls so we get more quality practicing time.”

The sudden influx of middle school tennis players has caused a few scheduling issues.

“It started out being an issue from the beginning because we knew we had so many kids coming out,” Mr. Preator said. “We weren’t sure exactly how we were going to get everyone on the court and get them decent time feeling like they were getting time to hit and us having not staying here for three hours.”

There are not enough courts for the over 50 middle school and 25 high school students, so the boys are girls are split up into times slots. The boys practice at 3:45-4:30 p.m., while the girls practice is 4:15-5 p.m. The high schoolers-practice from 4:30-5:45 p.m.

“Coach Katy Asay came up with a really good idea of overlapping practices and that’s worked out really good ever since,” said Mr. Preator. “It’s a little bit of a magic trick getting everyone on and off the courts at decent times.”