Two is Better Than One


Senior Tyler Torkleson serves as teammate sophmore Sam Ripp watches.

The tennis team is similar to years past; lots of new, younger players and few seasoned veterans. One difference from the last few years is the lineup of where people are playing. Two of the doubles teams are made up solely of seniors; the only four seniors on the team Sidney Mahan, Tyler Torkleson, Ryan Whaley and Bronson Stein.

Most of the senior boys knew that they wanted to play doubles before the season started.

“I had played doubles in years past and found that it was more enjoyable,” said Stein who chose to play doubles instead of singles. “There is more of a chance to be a team player.”

Seniors Sidney Mahan and Tyler Torkleson will be the number one doubles team. Both of the boys planned on being partners because they had such a successful end to the season last year by making it to state.

Since three of the boys knew that they were playing doubles prior to the season, there was one senior that wasn’t exactly sure where he would be playing until the season actually started.

“I played singles my sophomore and junior years,” said Whaley. Whaley stepped in to fill the spot of one of the doubles players that graduated early.

A few more seniors were expected to play, but some graduated early, others played different spring sports and some decided not to play at all.

The small number of upperclassmen is pretty normal. Since the seniors have been in high school, there have only been two to four seniors on the team (including foreign exchange students). But in years prior, there were close to 10 senior boys some years. So in the past, the doubles and singles positions were split up between upperclassmen and underclassmen more.

“All of the single players are very young,” said Whaley. “Many of them are coming off JV and straight to varsity.”

All of the boys agree that experience is a valuable tool in playing tennis.

“I have improved so much more (since last year) and have been winning more,” said Stein, who has been playing tennis for two years.

Many players start playing tennis in high school because it was not offered at the middle school as a sport. (now it is offered in the spring to 7th and 8th graders) All of the boys (with the exception of Mahan) joined sophomore year. The three boys joined all for the same reason. Mahan convinced them to play, as he tried to recruit more players.

Mahan, on the other hand, had other reasons for joining tennis.

“Track was too much running, so I decided to join tennis,” said Mahan.