Sports

Strong SHS squad swings for another league title

Forgive coach Mark Textor if he's somewhat modest about his boys tennis team.

Even if the Wolves are undefeated through their first four matches. Even if they boast two of the best players on the Olympic Peninsula who took fifth at the state 2A tourney last spring.

Even if, under Textor and former head coach Doug Hastings, the Wolves are 99-8 since the 2001-02 season, including three undefeated seasons and three one-loss seasons since then.

"I haven't seen the whole league yet, but I feel we're solid," Textor says with a knowing grin. "We have a lot of experience and talent. I like our chances."

There's no need to gloat - but there is plenty of tennis to play. With most of their varsity roster intact from an 11-1 season in 2008-09, the Wolves are a good bet to rack up another solid season and vie for an Olympic League title, with rivals Port Angeles and North Kitsap likely posing the toughest stumbling blocks.

"We have a solid team that will hopefully finish somewhere in the upper half of the league," Textor says. "If we continue to improve, we have a chance to finish near the top."

It's a comment he's made

in previous seasons, understating the talent that's here on Sequim's 2009 roster.

Senior Reed Gunstone and junior Mallory Maloney stand atop the proverbial player ladder. The pair went 2-2 at the class 2A state tourney last year, falling in the semifinals and settling for fifth.

David Richards (5-1 record in 2008-2009) and Waylon Lam (5-0) both qualified for the district tourney last season as singles players while Michael Lee saw district tourney action as a doubles player.

The Wolves get an influx of good, young talent with sophomores Waylon Lam, Byron Boots, Andrew Gunstone and Evan Hill and freshman Donovan Lee.

Textor says that senior Joe Puntenney has shown the most improvement early on and figures to see plenty of varsity action while Boots

also is much improved.

Best of all, Textor says, the team's talent is matched by dedication to the sport and good sportsmanship.

"They are nice kids and coachable," he says. "They work very hard in practice. They're good students and they ask intelligent questions."

As in previous years,

Sequim finishes the regular season in mid-October, then begin postseason play in May.

Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.



Preview: Sequim High Wolves boys tennis

2008 record: 11-1, Olympic League 2A champions; second place at districts; 1 doubles team, 1 singles player to state (team tied for 7th)

Coaches: Mark Textor, head coach (third year)

Returnees: Reed Gunstone (sr.), Mallory Maloney (jr.), Michael Lee (jr.), David Richards (jr.), Joe Puntenney (sr.), Waylon Lam (so.), Byron Boots (so.), Andrew Gunstone (so.), Duncan Skinner (jr.)

Newcomers: Donavan Lee (fr.), Evan Hill (so.), Kelvin Li (jr.)

Outlook: This team is too deep through its fourth doubles team to not be successful. The only question is, how many players can the Wolves press on through to the postseason?

Key dates: Sept. 28 vs. Port Angeles, Sept. 30 at Olympic, Oct. 12 vs. North Mason, Oct. 16 at Olympic League tourney, May 17 at district tournament



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