The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

April 2, 2013

Netters bring experience into season

OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa boys tennis team will not suffer from a lack of experience or a dearth of numbers this season.

The Bulldog team is festooned with veteran talent — namely 14 seniors who will supply Ottumwa with a steady helping of leadership.

“Our biggest thing will be depth,” Ottumwa boys tennis coach Alan Paris said. “We have a lot of depth.”

While Ottumwa is filled to the hilt with seniors, the team’s two top netters, at least in singles play, are underclassmen. The Ray brothers, Steve and Zack, will follow in the footsteps of older brother C.J. Ray, who finished his heralded career at Ottumwa last season. He advanced to the Class 2A state championship in each of his four seasons.

Steve enters his junior campaign after having a solid sophomore season where he served as Ottumwa’s No. 2 singles player, while Zack will make his freshman debut Thursday when Ottumwa kicks off its season at West Des Moines Dowling Catholic in a non-conference meet.

It’s been many years since the Bulldogs have played Dowling, so Paris doesn’t know what to expect from the competition. Paris said Steve — because of an edge over his younger brother in the experience department — will likely be the No. 1 seed, while Zack will settle into the No. 2 spot. Despite his rookie status, Paris has been impressed with the Zack’s play thus far in practice.

“He’s a nice little player,” the coach said about Zack.

Thus far, practice has primarily focused on serves and volleys, Paris said.

“We’re making progress,” he said.

Now, doubles play will take on a more central role in practice, the coach said.

In the No. 3 spot will be senior Jared Bohlmann, while senior Seth White will likely occupy the fourth spot. Senior Jacob Gardner will get the nod at fifth seed, while the six spot is being vied for by juniors Nick Sedore and Mitch Buller and sophomore Sam Kramer.

Ottumwa doubles play, specifically who will be paired together, is still up in the air, the coach said. Paris said the Ray brothers may pair up and the duo of Gardner and senior Alec Maas will remain together for a fourth straight year. The lively pair never suffers from a lack of charisma or vigor.

“They’re very entertaining,” Paris said.

Of the 14 seniors that decorate the roster, Gardner is the least bashful.

“Jacob is the most vocal of them all,” Paris said.

With C.J. Ray — who not only lead by example, but also with his voice — graduating last spring, Gardner has taken it upon himself to fill the verbal vacuum he’s left.

“He’s doing a pretty good job picking up the slack,” Paris said.

Maas and Bohlmann also are two of the team’s more vocal players, the coach said.

The Bulldogs will try to win the CIML Metro Championship this season. In addition, the coach said, along with qualifying for team regionals, he wants at least one of his players to earn a berth at the state meet.

Paris said this year’s squad really enjoys each others company.

“We’ve got a good bunch of guys,” he said. “They root for each other; they have a good team spirit. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of kids.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 0731 OTT Sports Kassidi Henderson mug Three Bulldogs make all-state OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa softball team had three of its players named to a Class 5A All-State team by Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.Bulldog second baseman Ashlyn Thompson and Kassidi Henderson were voted to the all-state second team and Alexis W

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Prep Softball All-State Team Class 1A 1st Team All State Name School Grade Kayla Tindall Akron-Westfield 12 Dana Hedlund Akron-Westfield 12 Renee Maneman Newelll Fonda 12 Rachel Smith Exira/EHK

    July 30, 2014

  • 0731 OTT Sports Austin Gridley Fairfield baseball photo Oh So Close! DES MOINES — Becoming the first Fairfield pitcher to start a state tournament game in 35 years didn’t seem to faze Trojan senior pitcher Joseph Hietpas. In fact, taking the mound at Principal Park in Des Moines seemed to only help Hietpas as he made

    July 30, 2014 4 Photos

  • Cedar Creek Ladies battle for low net score OTTUMWA — The Cedar Creek Ladies played "event low net score" on Tuesday. The medalist for the day was Carole Meredith while Patti Meyer and Ann Allison tied for low putts. In Flight A, Margo Sears finished in first place while Meredith finished seco

    July 30, 2014

  • 0731 OTT Sports Twin Cedars baseball photo 2 Twin Cedars just two wins from perfection DES MOINES — The 33 wins in 33 games to get to state was nice. So was the 34th-straight win, earned Saturday over Underwood in the Class 1A State Baseball Quarterfinals. But as he walked through the stands with his team at Principal Park following th

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0731 OTT Sports Bill Huisman photo Huisman wraps up successful 38-year career at Centerville FAIRFIELD — Sometime later this summer, Bill Huisman will look back on his 38 seasons as Centerville head baseball coach with a big smile. In the immediate aftermath of what proved to be his final game as Big Reds head coach, however, all Huisman wan

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0731 OTT Sports Ottumwa Little League photo Ottumwa Little League team ends terrific season OTTUMWA — Chris Becker doesn't think it's sunk in yet. Becker, the coach of the Ottumwa 9-10 Midwest All Stars, said his players have yet to fully grasp the depths of what they've accomplished this season. With time, however, he thinks they will und

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • On Tap Thursday Prep Baseball Class 1A State Semifinals Twin Cedars vs. LeMars Gehlen at Des Moines (Principal Park), 2 p.m.

    July 30, 2014

  • 0730 OTT Sports Ottumwa Babe Ruth 14 All Stars Ottumwa Babe Ruth team dominates at state OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa 14 Babe Ruth All-Stars team bore a striking resemblance to absolute domination at the state tournament in Ottumwa this season."The longest game we had was six innings," Conner Sheehan said. "We still 10-run ruled that team it ju

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0730 OTT Sports Shrine Bowl photo Bulldogs have fun at Shrine Bowl CEDAR FALLS — Ottumwa football coach Zach Pfantz had a blast serving as one of the coaches of the South team at the 42nd Annual Iowa Shrine Bowl at the UNI Dome Saturday. "It was a really awesome and wonderful experience and I was very thankful to ha

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Sports photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook