Drew Maples of Northwest High School returns a shot during a home match at NWHS against Hillsdale. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
By Jeff Steers
(August 22, 2022 10:16 PM) Imagine being a high school tennis team and playing on the road for more than a decade.
On the off days, the team practices on courts that are old and not in a condition to host matches.
That all changed on Monday as Northwest High School opened its new tennis facility just southwest of the high school.
The eight tennis courts include fencing, benches, lighting, and stands for tennis fans. The building of the courts was delayed due to COVID and other factors.
The Mounties made it a Disney ending with an 8-0 win over Hillsdale to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Longtime Coach Ron Woodruff said the new courts will help build the program.
“I can now see us creating children’s and middle school programs,” Woodruff said. “The school approved the building of the courts and we received a lot of donations from people in the community.”
To make up for all of those years as the road warriors, Northwest will play all Interstate-8 Conference matches at home and a number of non-conference matches.
“I think we travel four times for weekend tournaments and regionals,” Woodruff said. “It has been challenging over the years.”
The former courts have been demolished and appear to be additional parking for the high school.
Woodruff said a group of 20 parents recently installed the bleachers for fans to sit on.
“We are hoping the new courts will have a big effect on our numbers,” Woodruff said. “Each year you need four or five new players at a minimum.”
The Mounties had an easy time against Hillsdale as Drew Maples, Alex Thrun, Jayden Hoffbauer, and Kaleb Kittinger-Monro earned wins at Nos. 1-4 singles respectively.
Karson Schroeder/Landon Schroeder earned a 6-0 and 6-0 win at No. 1 doubles and Lincoln Keathley/Garrett Waldron won 6-2 and 6-0 at No. 2 doubles.
Hillsdale forfeited the Nos. 3 and 4 doubles due to lack of players.
Northwest has more than 20 athletes on the 2022 team.
“We have a number of juniors and seniors who have played since their freshman season,” Woodruff said. “That makes for a lot of good competition.”