Reigning champs look to repeat

Blend of upper, lower classmen leads Wolves into promising 2008 season

  • Friday, March 21, 2014 4:12pm
  • Sports

Coach Mark Textor doesn’t have to look far and wide across the tennis courts for leadership.

He’s got five seniors ready and willing to lead.

With all but two players back from a strong 2007-2008 campaign, the Wolves feature a roster not only experienced and talented but deep in nearly every grade level. Junior Reed Gunstone is Sequim’s top threat while sophomores Mallory Maloney, Michael Lee and David Richards are close behind. Freshmen Waylon Lam and Andrew Gunstone figure to battle for starting varsity spots.

And then there are the seniors Textor points to: Ethan Gill, Robbie Blenk, Alex Skinner, Greg Robinson and Alex Lamb each have plenty of court experience but also are willing to put in extra time and show underclassmen how to improve.

"(These are) excellent role models for players on our team," Textor says, watching several of them get in extra hitting practice after a midweek practice is finished. "They are going to be so successful in whatever they do. They are great students … (and) they set a great example for hard work and responsibility."

Last season, underclassmen Maloney and Reed Gunstone parlayed the team’s success, a 12-2 mark and hard-fought Olympic League title, into a berth at the class 2A state tournament, where they managed a 1-2 record.

Textor lauded the two and several other players for putting in a lot of court time during the offseason, including Lee and Richards.

"That’s how you have a good team," Textor said. "We talk a lot about being court rats."

That persistence in practice shows, as Sequim’s boys have accumulated a ridiculous 84-7 record since the 2001-2002 season.

With a change to team scoring last season, teams get three singles matches and four doubles team matches (as opposed to two singles and three doubles), opening up three more varsity spots.

But getting court time for Sequim may not be easy. That’s why Textor holds players to a singles ladder system. They can challenge players above them and earn a spot on varsity rather than deferring to an upperclassman, with no set limit on how many times a player may challenge another.

Textor said all his players are to play singles and doubles matches this season.

Sequim’s biggest roadblock to defending their league crown likely comes from the Poulsbo area from one of two teams: Kingston, a 2A Olympic League foe the Wolves edged 4-3 twice in 2007, and North Kitsap’s Vikings, a strong 4A program last season that joins the Olympic League as a 3A team. (The Vikings replace 2006 Olympic League champion Peninsula Seahawks, who joined the South Puget Sound League this fall.)

Whether the Wolves are able to take league again or not, Textor, a tennis coaching veteran of 24 years, said the goal for his players remains the same: Getting better, step by step.

"We’re just going to work real hard on improving our games," he said. "There may be enough talent on this team that we may challenge for a league title."

Sequim High School boys tennis

• 2007 record: 12-2, one doubles team to state 2A tourney

• Head coach: Mark Textor (second year)

• Top returners: Reed Gunstone, Mallory Maloney, David Richards, Michael Lee, Greg Robinson, Alex Lamb, Alex Skinner, Robbie Blenk, Ethan Gill

• Top newcomers: Waylon Lam, Andrew Gunstone

• Outlook: Sequim rarely has a down year in any tennis season, and this one’s no exception: solid leaders, a good mix of experience and youth and a coach that already has one state team title to his credit, figure the Wolves to battle North Kitsap for the league title, and more than one doubles team to state next spring.

• Key dates: Sept. 15 vs. Kingston, Sept. 19 vs. North Kitsap, Sept. 24 vs. Bremerton, Oct. 3 vs. Klahowya, May 18 at class 2A district tournament

More in Sports

Community scoreboard — Jan. 13, 2021

Golf The Cedars at Dungeness • Men’s Club, Short Course Challenge, Dec.… Continue reading

Park officials amend fishing regulations

Concerned in particular with a forecasted low return of Queets River wild… Continue reading

Prep sports: WIAA revises prep sport seasons, fall sports on deck

Fall sports would be the first to return under an amended prep… Continue reading

Pyeatt in the midst of a metamorphosis

With her focus centered on running at the collegiate level, Sequim junior… Continue reading

Port Angeles Marathon Association
The Port Angeles Marathon Association partnered with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe to create the 2021 medals for the Run the Peninsula series.
Registration open for 2021 Run the Peninsula races

Includes the North Olympic Discovery Marathon

Community scoreboard — Dec. 16, 2020

Golf The Cedars at Dungeness • Men’s Club, Food Bank Scramble, Dec.… Continue reading

NWAC: No 20-21 athletic championships, basketball delayed

March Madness, indeed. The Northwest Athletic Conference announced on Dec. 11 that… Continue reading

Community scoreboard — Dec. 9, 2020

Golf The Cedars at Dungeness • Men’s Club, Individual Stroke Play, Dec.… Continue reading

Spruce Railroad Trail at Lake Crescent complete

The Spruce Railroad Trail is now open for visitors. The final phase… Continue reading

Community scoreboard — Dec. 2, 2020

Golf The Cedars at Dungeness • Men’s Club, Strike 3, Nov. 25… Continue reading

Mother and daughter Janet and Jessica Ouellet compete in the Run the Peninsula's virtual 10K Railroad Run together in Seabeck. Photo courtesy of Run the Peninsula
Run the Peninsula series concludes unusual year

It was an unusual year for the Run the Peninsula series, with… Continue reading

PREP SPORTS: WIAA pushes back prep seasons

The return of high school sports will be delayed by at least… Continue reading