Wednesday, September 6, 2000
Steamboat Springs With three matches now behind them, the Steamboat Sailors boys tennis team heads out on the road this weekend, where the squad looks forward to playing four contests in a two-day period.
Head coach John Aragon leads his 2-1 Sailors team into the Grand Junction area to face Paonia, Hotchkiss, Delta and Cedaredge high schools. The Sailors' lone loss this season came Aug. 19, where they fell 4-3 to the Sun Devils from Kent Denver School.
"We'll be solid going in and playing this next weekend," Aragon said. "Our players are hitting the ball well, and the team's starting to gel."
Steamboat, which is 3A, enters its matches ranked in the top five in the state. The Sailors defeated 5A schools Thompson Valley and Poudre Aug. 26.
No. 1 singles player Rich Tifft leads a confident group into the matches.
Tifft, who is 3-0 this season, said his team needs to focus on one match at a time to do well. He anticipates playing two matches each day.
"I almost like it more because the first match kind of warms you up and takes all the nerves out of you," Tifft said. "I think that our team's feeling pretty confident right now."
Aragon's goal this season is to coach his players to a regional championship, which would mark the Sailors' third consecutive. He also hopes to lead his team to a top-three finish in the state. The first order of business, however, is to come out victorious this weekend, he said.
"I don't know a lot about these teams," Aragon said. "Last year, they weren't real tough teams. But a year of hard work can sure change the looks of the teams.
"We're not going to take them lightly."
Playing in the No. 1 singles position for the Sailors this weekend will be Tifft, followed by Joe Cutler at the No. 2 position and Allen Carter at the No. 3 position.
Walker Pruett and David Upbin will partner up for the No. 1 doubles position, with Jeff Aragon and Matt Mooney at the No. 2 position. Brian Berge and Danny Martin are in the No. 3 position, followed by Matt Ramsey and Andrew Krueger at the No. 4 position.
On Friday, Steamboat plays against Paonia High School at 4 p.m. and against Hotchkiss High School at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Steamboat faces Delta High School at 10 a.m. and Cedaredge High School at 1 p.m.
To reach Eric Rineer call 871-4229 or e-mail email@example.com