Five letter winners return to tennis court for Madison
By LARRY LEEDS, Sports Editor
Madison High School tennis coach Doug Sims greeted 22 players who are vying for a spot on the Bulldogs varsity team.|
There are two seniors, three juniors, three sophomores, four freshmen, eight eighth-graders and two seventh-graders battling for a spot on the team.
Sims has five letter winners returning to the court. Letter winners, who are returning include seniors Ryan Golden and Jordan Heim, juniors Jacob Leighton and Matt Green and sophomore Matt Graff.
Some of the Bulldogs have put in significant time to get ready for the season. "We have had some kids put in significant time in the off season and we certainly hope that work will pay off for them," Sims said.
Golden and Leighton played doubles together last year. "I'm looking forward to watching them play. Developing a feel of where your doubles partner is on the court is critical and they've had a year to feel that out."
The Bulldogs had a 2-13 record in dual meets last year. Sims believes that Madison will be more competitive this year due to the commitment put in by the Bulldogs. "A young man has put in a great amount of time preparing for his opportunity to play, Kevin Shan, a seventh-grader. He has played in many tournaments and put a lot of effort in trying to improve his game," Sims said. "He will certainly help with our depth in singles and we'll see where he ends up regarding a double partner. It isn't all on him, but he does improve our depth and strength of the team."
Sims thought the depth of the team was improved quite a bit. "Unfortunately we recently lost a player that will be out of the mix for the rest of this season," Sims said. "So that really affects the depth. This will give another person an opportunity to fill that void and we'll see where it ends up. It has an impact not only in singles but a big impact in our strength in doubles play and overall depth to our team."
The nasty early spring weather has hampered most of the tennis teams in the state. "Most everybody in the state has been affected by the weather except maybe Rapid City, Yankton and Sioux Falls," Sims said.
The Bulldogs are supposed to open the 2013 season on Thursday when they host the Luverne Cardinals in a dual meet that will begin at 4 p.m.
2013 Tennis Schedule
April 4: Luverne, 4 p.m.: April 9: Madison Triangular (Sioux Falls Roosevelt and Sioux Falls Lincoln) 11 a.m.; April 11: Aberdeen Roncalli, 4 p.m.; April 12: at Brandon Triangular, 11 p.m.; April 13: at Yankton, 9 a.m. April 16: at Brandon Valley, 11 a.m.; April 19: at Mitchell Triangular, 11 a.m.; April 25: Sioux Falls Washington, 4 p.m.; April 27: Madison Quadrangular, (Watertown, Yankton, Mitchell), 9 a.m.; April 29: Pipestone, 4 p.m.; April 30: at Huron, 4 p.m.; May 3: at Brookings Triangular, 1 p.m.; May 7: at Watertown Triangular, 1:30 p.m.; May 10: St. Thomas More, 2 p.m.; May 11: Madison Quadrangular (Milbank, Vermillion, St. Thomas More), 9 a.m.; May 16-18: State Tournament at Sioux Falls, TBA.