HESSTON — The Hesston High School boys’ tennis team has just one state qualifier back from last season, but coach Mark Dahlsten feels his team can still be a force at the league and state level.
Dahlsten begins his 30th season as the Swather’s head coach. He is assisted by Travis Sebits and Amelia Fabrizius.
Hesston won the Central Kansas League title last season, took second at regionals and second in the Class 3-2-1A state tournament, falling to Central Plains.
Hesston graduated the state champion doubles team of Grant Dahlsten and Garrett Roth, along with two other state qualifiers.
The leading returnee is junior Jorge Morales, who went 19-15 last year. Morales teamed with Kendrick Weaver to take first at second doubles in the CKL, place sixth at regionals and ninth at state.
Also back is senior Mason Barber, who went 5-3 in singles play and 10-11 in doubles. Barber took third in the CKL at second singles.
Other returning letterwinners are sophomores Brendan Boles and Isaac Decker.
Also competing for varsity slots are freshmen Jeb Carlson and Logan Gamble, who Dahlsten said “are pretty advanced for freshmen;” seniors Aaron Fuqua and Reuben Peachey-Stoner; and juniors Daniel Casimir and Will Rizza.
Other squad members include junior Kyler Claassen, sophomore Courage DeMoss, and freshmen J.J. Ecker, Oliver Krehbiel, Jaeden Latta, Ethan Moran, James Peters, Levi Peachey-Stoner and Cedon Yoder.
“Although we don’t have a lot of varsity experience back, I think we have the potential to be pretty good,” Dahlsten said. “Mason and Jorge give us experience and have practiced really well so far. Jeb and Logan and really good, especially as young as they are and have played a lot of tennis. We have several to choose from to fill out our lineup, so I am optimistic as we head into the season.”
Dahlsten looks at Smoky Valley, Kingman, Hoisington and Larned as the top contenders to challenge Hesston for the CKL title.
May 28 Hesston Inv. I 3 p.m.
April 4 @ Smoky Valley Tennis Day 3 p.m.
April 6 @ Andover Inv. 3 p.m.
April 10 @ Wichita Collegiate Inv. 3 p.m.
April 11 @ Salina Central Inv. 3 p.m.
April 14 Central Plains, Conway Springs 10 a.m.
April 18 @ Hillsboro Inv. 3 p.m.
April 22 @ Wichita Collegiate TOC 8 a.m.
April 25 Hesston Inv. II 10 a.m.
May 1 CKL @ Hesston 9 a.m.
May 6 Regionals TBA
May 12-13 State @ Garden City HS TBA