By Tate Thomson
Tennis coach Kevin Cullen is anticipating a good 2018 season. He is assisted by long-time high school coach Dick Barnes.
The team is a large one this year, with eight seniors, eight juniors, five sophomores and seven freshmen. Coach Cullen has noticed improvement in returning members in practice this season.
“We lost some great senior leadership and skill from last season, but I am excited to see what our returning players are able to do this season,” Cullen says.
Because of the large size of the team, practices have to be staggered; one group takes to the courts from 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. and another group has them from 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. The gap in between is when the entire team does a fitness routine together, comprised of jump rope, ladders, agility and speed circuits.
There are no other tennis teams in the 2B/1B league, so the team looks for the opportunity to play against larger schools from the 2A league.
“We are lucky for every opportunity we get to play. If we play a 2A school, it just shows our girls what is possible with hard work and dedication to the sport,” Cullen said.
Players on the Friday Harbor team try out for a “traveling team” in order to play at matches.
“If the place we are playing only has four courts, we are limited by time as to how many can play. For these matches we typically take 15-16 players. Teams are set the week prior to the match by playing challenge sets to determine the order. If the place we are traveling to has eight courts, we take a bus and bring the whole team, giving everyone an opportunity to play,” Cullen explains.
They are preparing for their first match at home against Lynden on March 16.
3-16 Lynden 4 p.m.
3-23 @ Lynden 3:30 p.m.
3-30 Granite Falls 3:45 p.m.
4-14 Coupeville TBD
4-20 @ Granite Falls 3:30 p.m.