Mix of youth and lettermen now on

By Tom Munds
Posted 9/17/08

Loss of six lettermen just at the start of the season required revamping of the Englewood High School boys tennis varsity lineup. “We were …

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Mix of youth and lettermen now on


Loss of six lettermen just at the start of the season required revamping of the Englewood High School boys tennis varsity lineup.

“We were expecting those lettermen to be with us but that didn’t happen. Two moves, two decided not to play tennis and two are ineligible,” Pirates coach Jim Tucker said. “That left some holes in our lineup but fortunately I was able to add six freshmen to our roster. These guys are enthusiastic and learning the game but I am happy where we are at this point of season. We are not winning matches but the new kids are improving, the lettermen who stayed with us are playing well and all the players are doing their best. That’s all you can ask of them.”

The Pirates have passed the halfway mark in the season. They have a single match next week with D’Evelyn coming to town Sept. 25. The matches begin at 3:30 p.m., is open to the public and there Is no charge for admission. That match leaves two dates on the regular season schedule until early October when the Pirates travel to Kent Denver for regionals which is the state-qualifying competition.

Julian Pettersen is one of the freshmen no a varsity starter as one half of the Pirates No. 3 doubles team.

“My dad likes tennis, my half brother Kyle is a pro and plays in tournaments so going out for tennis is sort of natural. I want to learn, get better and hopefully beat my half brother one day,” the freshman said. “My dad helped me learn a lot of fundamentals but playing high school tennis is definitely harder than I thought it would be just learning the sport and improving enough to give the opponent a good match. Also, the competition is tougher than I thought it would be. We have already faced some very good high school tennis players.”

He said a strength is he knows where he wants to place the ball and usually can put it there. He said the aspect of his game that needs the most work is developing a spin on the ball to make it harder for the opponent to make a return.

“I am three time better now than when I started the season,” Pettersen said. “Now, I can usually make a good pickup on a drop shot. I couldn’t do that very well at the start of the season.”

Four-year varsity starter Garrett Shaw is playing No. 2 singles for the Pirates this season.

“The season is doing OK so far. I haven’t won a lot of matches but I still feel it is going pretty well for me this season,” the senior said. “My forehand is a little slower this year but my backhand is better. Oddly enough, I moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 singles and I think the competition isn’t quite as tough. Every match is a challenge but not as big a challenge as what I faced last season at No. 3 (singles.)”

He said his backhand is the most improved aspect of his game. He also said he has a very strong serve and is not working hard to consistently put the first serve in play.

“I like tennis and I expect it will be a life sport for me,” he said. “I still like track the best and that’s where I’m most competitive. But tennis is fun and, when I get older, I can see myself convincing my wife and kids to play tennis with me.”

At a Glance

Pirates in home stretch of tennis season

Six lettermen playing varsity tennis

Coach praises player’s hard work


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