Laramie High School’s tennis season is underway, and this year’s squad is opposite from a year ago.

In 2020, the girls’ squad had the returning experience, while the boys had to reload and rebuild. For 2021, the parts are reversed.

Laramie has six of its eight varsity lineup players back on the boys’ side, while only two return for the girls. Last fall, the Lady Plainsmen placed fifth at the state tournament, while the Plainsmen took tenth.

Head coach Elizabeth Clower begins her seventh season as head coach. She says for the girls’ team it begins with lots of repetition.

“We graduated six out of our top eight, so we have a little bit of expertise, a little bit of leadership there. We have some singles players that have never played singles before, but we’ll just nail it down here at practice. We’ll work on all the skills that they need.”

Clower mentioned a lot of team bonding activities to help promote a team-first atmosphere.

As for the boys, Clower believes they grew through adversity last year.

“We only graduated a couple of boys, so we have some returners. We also have a group of young men that just worked all winter long. They played a couple of times a week, as well as, playing other sports, so their mindset is, they’re ready to go take state, so they have a strong mindset.”

Two seniors that will lead the way are Abby Kersey and Samuel Johnson-Noya. Kersey won a state championship as part of a No. 3 doubles tandem in 2020. Johnson-Noya played at No. 1 singles for the first time last fall. Both told KOWB’s David Settle that they are looking forward to their senior season and what’s in store. They talked about the team’s prospects, what’s going on in practice, and what they’ve been working on to improve. That’s part of the video at the top of the post.

Clower says the kids basically have to come ready with a short, seven-week season.

“What we have to do is find the chemistry of our team and figure out who’s going to play together; what’s the strongest doubles team we have for one, two, and three. With the singles players, we just work on strategies. We work on developing what they already have.”

That’s easier for the two boys’ positions that have some experience, while it’s new for the girls.

Clower adds, “We’ll probably pay our dues in the beginning, but I figure with some experience on the court and at practice, by the end, we’ll be competing.”

Laramie opened its season last Monday, Aug. 16 in Casper. Both teams lost to Kelly Walsh 5-0. LHS bounced back and swept Rawlins on Friday, 5-0.

The squads will make their home debut on Thursday, Aug. 26, versus Cheyenne Central. The matches start at 4 p.m. at LHS.

Here are the players on the 2021 tennis rosters:

Girls = Megan Bingham, Ava Bohlender, Caroline Bredhoft, Ruby Dorrell, Miriel Edwards, Elise Gerdes, Asriyah Islam, Samantha Johnson, Abby Kersey, Embree Miller, Morgan Moore, Hannah Peterson, Selma Piri, Kylin Shipman, Mairin Sims, Rachel Stephens, Mia Wallhead, Lina Woelk, Emma Wookey, Cassy Wulff, Bella Yates, Maddy Yates

Boys = Rowan Ahern, Sage Ahern, Sam Alexander, Dalton Allen, Brandon Asher, Gavin Baker, Kai Boyer, MaCoy Callihan, Zack Cotterman, Eli Coulter, Ryan Dennis, Jack Drew, Zane Ferrell, Ashton Hepworth, Gage Hepworth, Vaughn Hime, Marcos Johnson-Noya, Samuel Johnson-Noya, Spencer Killpack, Russel King, Henry Kobulnicky, Collin Krueger, Carson Krueger, Paulo Mellizo, Keegan Miller, Declan O’Connor, Catcher Pannell, Matthew Pikal, Kyler Russow, Keagan Sell, Michael Sigler, Wolf Woelk.

Head Coach = Elizabeth Clower; Assistants = Anne Moore, Lea Bergman, Kathryn Jones.

 

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