Tennis team looks to rebuild in highly skilled league

Team captains Craig Wright and Andre To, seniors, hope to make the season successful with added talent. The team has eight returning varsity players and six new faces, many with not a whole lot of experience. Saying players, talent and season expectations have changed is an understatement.

The Lions lost Jonathan Macemon, Ty Clarke, Evrick Jenkins, Ian Risenhoover along with other seniors from last season but hope to remain competitive in a highly skilled Three Rivers League.

“We lost seven seniors; we’re young and need to develop because the league is so good,” To said.

Last year, Russell Risenhoover, sophomore, finished third in state in the doubles category playing with his brother Ian Risenhoover, who graduated last year. Wright also competed in state, but lost in the third set tiebreaker to the number two seed in the state with doubles partner Macemon.

Despite all of the new faces, one remains the same. Varsity head coach Ward Lewis was honored with the National Federation of High Schools Oregon State Coach-of-the-Year, and has been coaching tennis at West Linn for more than 30 years.

With all of the new and returning faces on the team, it can be difficult to mesh with new partners.

“We have forgotten what we learned over the time being together. We have to re-drill and fix our mistakes in the game. The geometry and physics are all messed up,” Lewis, said.

Despite losing seniors, the team is confident and ready for whatever is its their way.

“We have a good lineup and we’ll be one of the top teams in the district,” To said.