Depth of little concern for tennis team

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Future depth should be of little concern to the Steamboat Springs boys tennis team.

With a few freshman and sophomores of comparable talent, the Sailors' JV boys tennis team went through its slate of team duals undefeated this season.

Steamboat coach John Aragon said there certainly was room to compare some of the Sailors JV players and the talented players Steamboat has in its lower varsity doubles teams.

"Next year a few of those (JV) individuals could certainly challenge for varsity spots if they play year-round and play in tournaments," Aragon said.

Brandon Shenfield spent a majority of the 2003 season on the JV team until an injury to Brian Aragon forced Shenfield into Aragon's spot with Jesse Speare-Schaller at No. 3 doubles.

Speare-Schaller and Shenfield went on to claim a regional title and advanced to the state tournament.

But Aragon said young players such as Andrew Riley, Zach Epley and Sean Hays should be in the mix for spots, as well.

"We should be strong down below," Aragon said. "Hopefully our upper level will improve as much as your lower level."

Alex Griffing was the lone senior to graduate of the 2003 varsity team for Steamboat, meaning nearly every starter will return next season. But spots aren't guaranteed; they are earned.

Because Steamboat had lower participation numbers overall this season, the JV was given the same workout as the varsity. Aragon said the quality practice time his younger players received benefited them during the season and hopefully through the offseason as well.

At the JV level, the players took part in single and doubles matches, exposing individuals to a variety of styles of play, which Aragon believes is advantageous for their futures.

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208

or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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