With just two seniors on the squad, Sequim High’s boys tennis team has a bit of a learning curve in 2023.
Despite its relative youth, SHS coach Mark Textor said, this year’s Wolves have a good shot at keeping up with most of its Olympic League foes outside of 3A Bainbridge and perennial powerhouse North Kitsap.
“We’ll compete with most schools fairly well,” Textor said at a preseason practice.
The Wolves do have an ace up their proverbial sleeve, as senior Garrett Little looks to cap a stellar prep career with another deep run at the state 2A tournament.
Undefeated in the Covid-shortened 2021 season, Little went 7-1 in postseason play as a sophomore in 2021, placing third at state. Last season, Little went 3-1 at the Olympic League tourney, swept four matches for a West Central District title and won three matches at state, falling to Zach Chai of Sehome in the 2A singles championship.
In three postseasons, Little is 24-4.
Textor said there isn’t much to do for Little during the season except have coaches giving him some court challenges.
Little looks ready for the season, his coach said.
“He’s played some tennis this summer,” Textor said at a preseason practice.
Also back is William Hughes, a fourth-year senior, along with and improves Jack Crecelius. Also back is Hunter Tennell, whom Textor expects will team up with Lincoln Bear to bolster the Wolves in doubles play.
The newcomers on the team are very positive, Textor said, and feature several players who show potential. Freshman Mason Rapelje is “picking things up” while Tom LaSchete, an exchange student from Germany, has “showed a lot of promise early on,” Textor noted, as has Sebastian Buhrer.
While Bainbridge and North Kitsap are a cut above the rest of the league, Textor said Sequim has a shot to compete with other league foes. Bremerton could be particularly tough in 2023, he said.
“We hope to get better [each week] and hopefully compete with everyone,” Textor said.
Wolves fall to powerhouse Spartans, Knights in openers
Sequim’s boys tennis team got a tough draw to open the 2023 season, falling 6-1 to 3A Bainbridge on the road on Sept. 6.
The Wolves’ lone victory came from ace Garrett Little, who won in straight sets over Garner Hall (6-2, 6-0). Sequim’s other singles players put up strong second sets in their losses: William Hughes fell to Bainbridge’s Sam King 6-1, 6-4 in No. 2 singles play while Jack Crecelius dropped a 6-1, 7-6 decision to Austin Williams at No. 3.
The story was similar just a day later in the Wolves’ home-opener, as Bremerton topped Sequim 6-1 despite some close play in several matches. Little scored a straight sets win (6-0, 6-2) over Bremerton’s Joseph Cao. Hughes battled Stephen McIntyre to a tiebreak but fell 7-6, 6-3, 10-8, and Crecelius similarly dropped a three-set match in No. 3 singles to Eli Warner (3-6, 6-4, 10-4). Sequim’s Isaac McKeen and Zach Post put up a tough fight in a No. 2 singles match, falling to Bremerton’s Asher Steinbach and Tanner Urrita 7-6 (7-2), 6-1.
In both matches, the Wolves were able to put just three of four doubles teams on the court.
Sequim was scheduled to play at North Kitsap on Sept. 11 — results were not available at press time.
The Wolves (0-2) host North Mason on Sept. 13, play at Kingston on Sept. 14 and host Olympic on Sept. 19.
Fall sports preview: SHS boys tennis
Head coach: Mark Textor (18th season)
2022 record: One singles player to state 2A tournament (second place)
Key returners: Garrett Little, William Hughes, Jack Crecelius, Hunter Tennell
Newcomers: Ryan Stites, Wyatt Perez, Zach Post, Isaac McKeen, Lincoln Bear, Sebastian Buhrer, Tom LaSchete, Mason Rapelje