The Minnewaska Area boys tennis team is set to begin the 2023 spring schedule Tuesday, April 11 (tomorrow) at Yellow Medicine East followed by the home opener against Benson-KMS, Thursday, April 13.
The Lakers are also set to compete at a triangular at Fargo, Friday, April 14, and a meet at the Horizon School, Saturday, April 15, although all those meets are pending due to weather.
The Lakers are coming off a 21-7 season from a year ago in which the team qualified to the state tourney for the first time in program history and also sent Tate Reichmann to the state individual tourney.
The team lost a lot of players from last season, including Tate Reichmann, Gannon Walsh, Ethan Quelle, Nik VanDyke, Damon Uhde, Alec Larson, Konner Hanson, Riley Guza and manager Erik Vold.
Still, the team does return a number of players with experience. Overall, the team has 21 players listed on its roster in grades 7-12, a number which includes just four players in grades 10-12.
Included on this year’s boys tennis roster are senior Noah Palmer; junior Connor Quelle; sophomores Tenzin Dahl and Riley Thorfinnson; freshmen Drew Bleick, Tate Wasilowski, James Nichtern and Tate Hanson; eighth-graders Marshall Kopp, Landon Schiffler, Tyler Kohn, Carter LeClair, Ethan Klick, Gabe Maasjo and Deven Manderscheid; and seventh-graders Carson Beyer, Xavier Johnson, Easton Palmer, Aidric Vold, Mason Goebel and Eddie VanderHagen.
“It will definitely be a rebuilding year as we have only one senior and one junior on our team,” coach Tara Reichmann said. “Our main numbers are in seventh through ninth grade and this season, we plan to focus on gaining experience, working on skills and staying positive.”
Minnewaska Area, which is also set to host matches at home April 20 (vs. MACCRAY), May 2 (home triangular) and May 4 (home triangular), is scheduled to close out the regular-season schedule with three-straight triangulars at Alexandria, Sartell and Fergus Falls before opening up the Section 8A Tourney, May 23 at Perham.
“We expect NLS and Thief River Falls to be the teams to beat in the Section 8A Tourney while the conference race will be wide open,” coach Reichmann said. “Our team will have minimal pressure to win after having a very veteran team last year with eight senior starters.
“We do have some returning kids that have put a lot of time into their games and are looking to make an impact on our team and program. We also have some new players that look very motivated and ready for the challenge.”