Steamboat Springs High School tennis team swings back into action Friday | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Springs High School tennis team swings back into action Friday

Steamboat Springs Emmie Thompson will return to the Sailors line up this season along with her sister. Maddie. The pair are among five returning players that are expected to anchor this year's squad.

— With just one practice under the team's belt, Steamboat Springs tennis coach John Aragon admits there are a lot more questions than answers at this point of the season.

But coming up with those answers is just a part of the process for the longtime coach who has helped make Steamboat Springs a powerhouse in tennis for more than a decade. This year, more than 30 players have come out for the team, and by the end of the week, Aragon will have his varsity lineup set.

"Yesterday (Monday) was first practice," Aragon said. "We will continue to look at different combinations and different ways of matching up a few of the stronger players. There are also a lot of younger players that I still need to take a look at."

The coach will need to make some quick decisions with the start of the season just three days away. The Sailors, the defending regional champions, will open the season against Evergreen at 5 p.m. Friday at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs. The team will be back on the court at noon Saturday for the second match of the season against Grand Junction.

“We played Evergreen last year, and they have a really solid program," Aragon said. "It will be a good test to see where we are at at this point of the season."

Steamboat also played Grand Junction last year, and Aragon is again expecting a good test. He added that both matches should help him get players into the positions where they can be successful.

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The coach said he will be making some choices this week about where players will fit into his system and what the doubles teams will be look like. He expects Mae Thorpe to fill the Sailors No. 1 singles position. Veteran Maddie Thompson and Lily Fox are expected to battle it out in challenge matches the next few days to decide which player will fill the No. 2 and No. 3 singles spots.

Aragon is expecting returning players Emmie Thompson, Natalie Simon and Jordyn Hetrick to help fill his doubles teams, but on Tuesday morning, the coach was still unsure of how his those teams would line up.

Emmie Thompson was recovering from a shoulder injury suffered playing hockey, and Aragon did not think she would make the line up in the opening weekend. Simon and Hetrick will both be playing doubles this season, but who they will be teamed up with was still uncertain Tuesday morning.

"We want to go out and be competitive on the court, and we want to put lots of balls in play," Aragon said. "Sure, I want to get a feel for our doubles teams, but the most important thing is to have a great time and work hard for points. Hopefully, we can start developing that team unity that's so important and learn to start supporting one another."

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966