The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

Cougar netters hope to reload this year

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

Weather permitting, the 2017 high school tennis season will begin Monday for the Van Wert Cougars.

It will be a busy opening week, as the defending Western Buckeye League champion Cougars (13-2, 8-1) host Elida Monday, travel to Defiance Tuesday, then will return home for Wapakoneta Friday, and traditional state power Lexington on Saturday.

The Cougars lost three letter winners to graduation, but return four others. Three of them are slated to play singles.

“Even though we lost some key players, we still are returning a lot of players who have varsity experience and success,” Schmidt said.

Mike Etter, a district qualifier in 2016, is expected to take over at first singles, Gabe Rollins will compete at second singles, and Ryan Keber will play third singles.

Spencer Teman, who also qualified for district competition last season, will play either first or second doubles, and he’ll likely be joined by some combination of Carter Eikenbary, Michael Helman, Zach Stevens, and Kannen Wannemacher. Austin Voors and Brady Place could see varsity action as well.Numbers are up as well, with 17 total players on the roster.

“We are excited about the increase in the number of players on our roster,” Schmidt said. “It’s an opportunity for players who primarily served in junior varsity or lower level varsity positions to step up and be our highest level players this year.“We’re also looking for some potential surprises from some of our newcomers to the program this year, and in years to come,” Schmidt added.

POSTED: 03/31/17 at 6:07 am. FILED UNDER: Sports