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Changes invite differing opinions

Feet pound on the asphalt as the tennis player sprints toward the net. His racket hisses through the air and forces the ball back toward his opponent. He moves back a step and prepares for the next swing.

Tennis is thought to have been invented in the 11th or 12th century by French monks. They began by playing with a crude handball over a rope in a courtyard or by hitting the ball against the monastery walls. The game quickly gained popularity and by the 13th century there were as many as 1800 courts in France.

The popularity of the game has continued through the centuries and even today tennis is a popular sport on high school campuses. A sure sign that spring is on the way is the sound of tennis balls bouncing back and forth in practice.

This year the boy?s tennis team kicked off their season of practice in mid-February, several weeks later than usual. That setback, along with a new coach, has some of the players worried about what is in store for them this season.

?We have a lot of freshmen this year,? Corey Maxey, ?06, said. ?They have little talent and need work.?

Maxey is concerned that the gap left by seniors who graduated last year will be too big for the players to fill this season.

?I don?t expect us to measure up to last year?s team because all of our good seniors left,? Maxey said. ?We need to pull together and support each other if we want to win and I don?t see us doing that this season.?

Some of the younger players are more optimistic about the team?s chances.

?I think we will win league again,? Tyler Enns, ?07, said. ?We will dominate.?

The addition of a new coach is another change from past seasons. Coach Ken Le Roy was previously a soccer coach but he has also given many private tennis lessons over the years.

?I have always had a great love of the game of tennis,? Le Roy said. ?I have always wanted to coach tennis, and when I saw the need for a tennis coach here I felt that it was what the Lord wanted me to do. I pursued the job and was given the opportunity to coach here.?

For the most part, players are pleased with Le Roy and feel that he will be an asset for the team.

?I?m not really worried about having a new coach,? Enns said. ?He is a cool guy and I think everything will be okay.?

Le Roy has high hopes for the team as they try and repeat last year?s victory.

?My plan is to develop a higher level of play in the team as well as to teach them the importance of hard work and working together as a team,? Le Roy said, ?and most importantly to have high standards in attitudes and behavior.?

Tennis will play Fowler on Mar.17. Their next home game will be on Mar. 29 against Strathmore.

For more information about the tennis schedule see the Spring Sports Calendar 04-05 at under the Sports heading.

For information about the history of tennis visit

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