Sequim head coach Justine Wagner and her pack of Wolves aren’t short on numbers — the number of players, anyway.
Cracks in Sequim High’s lower courts have made two of SHS’s five courts deemed unsafe upon which to play. That means 25 players for three courts. Even with six doubles teams in action, Wagner notes, that’s more than half the team that can’t play.
“The boys have been really good sports,” she says, as some have kept in training by playing on pickleball court-sized spaces in the high school gymnasium.
Chances are that, other than an early-season speed bump — Jerry Bryan and Dan Willis, two of Sequim’s top players, missed some practices with an overseas trip and won’t be eligible for a few matches — the Wolves look formidable once again.
Sequim went 4-3 in a competitive Olympic League that saw five teams post .500-or-better marks, with North Kitsap (6-1) taking the crown.
Leading the way for Sequim is junior Matthew Richards and five seniors with significant varsity experience in Victor Lam, Eli Berg, Bryan and Willis.
A brother duo who recently transferred into the district from Olympia help boost the lineup, in underclassmen Tim and Justin Porter.
“We’ll win the majority of our matches,” Wagner says.
Richards qualified for the state 2A tournament with doubles partner Brandon Payne after earning the No. 4 seed from the West Central District tournament; they dropped both matches at state.
Other squads vying for the league title include Kingston, Klahowya Kingston and Port Angeles, each of whom went 5-2 in league play in 2013.
SHS boys tennis 2014 season preview
Head coach: Justine Wagner (second season)
2013 record: 4-3, fifth in Olympic League, 6-6 overall; one doubles team to 2A state tourney
Top returners: Matthew Richards (jr.), Victor Lam (sr.), Eli Berg (sr.), Jerry Bryan (sr.), Dan Willis (sr.)
Key newcomers: Tim Porter (fr.), Justin Porter (so.)
Reach Sequim Gazette editor Michael Dashiell at email@example.com.