New Tennis Coach Brings New Approaches

This year the Dimond tennis team got a new coach, Willy Stone, after the retirement of previous coach Bill Cotton.

With this new coach came new hopes for a state title for Dimond tennis, which Dimond hasn’t had for a long time.

Along with the new coach came new tactics and approaches to the tennis team.

Practices usually consist of hit arounds, rallies, and fun but helpful skill-building tennis games.

“The team chemistry is very good, everybody gets along and there are rarely arguments” tennis player Isaiah Mills said. However, there is lots of close competition on the team for top player spots, so some scrimmages get heated because everybody wants that top spot for bragging rights and to lead the team.

Although the top spots are contested, the team always manages to come together at meets and pull in victories by winning the most matches in a meet.

There is practice every day and for some students who are taking hard classes and on the tennis team, it is difficult to balance tennis and academics. One such student is Alden Butzke, a junior at Dimond and a first year varsity tennis player.

When asked how he balances tennis and academics, Butzke said, “ It is pretty difficult with practice every day and weekly meets taking most of the evening, but I manage to get my school done and practice by only doing tennis and school.”

This balance is very important because you must retain at least a 2.0 to be on the team. If  athletes disregard their school work, they will not be able to play but if they disregard their sport for school, they will not get better and will most likely lose skill in the sport.  Butzke also admitted that sometimes he has to skip practices to do homework, but Coach Stone understands because he has two sons on the tennis team, Derek and Jake Stone.

Derek Stone said, “ It’s pretty cool to get the family bonding while being at tennis practice.” He thinks his father makes a great coach, “bringing knowledge of the sport and a good attitude to the court.”

Derek Stone, who is a junior on the varsity team and won the state championship in mixed doubles his freshman year, believes that the team “is good, but has lots of room for improvement.”

Since there are not that many seniors on the team, Stone thinks that next year Dimond tennis will be a force to be reckoned with.

With the tennis season coming to a close, the Dimond team is really kicking into gear with their training. With hopes of a state championship on the line, they are training hard.

The tennis team is good this year and they are still getting used to their new coach. This means that next year they will be used to the new coach and has the potential to be a tennis powerhouse.