The Loogootee boys tennis team and coach Rick Graves are jumping right into a season unlike any it has ever faced. The Lions will see a new player at every position on the varsity level in 2013. Graves, who has seen it all in his illustrious career in Loogootee. Graves has earned 24 sectional titles (17 boys, 7 girls) and 15 Blue Chip championships to his credit, and a career record of 444-157. The Lions are coming off a 2012 season, which saw Loogootee finish with a split Blue Chip championship and a 16-4 record.
It’s been a rough start for Loogootee with the inexperience Graves is dealing with. The Lions have also registered losses to Vincennes Rivet, Bloomfield and Evansville North — all three losses came on 4-1 decisions. Junior Gabe Nolley will make the transition from No. 1 doubles in 2012 to No. 1 singles in 2013.
“Right now I don’t see him having a lot of difficulty in that transition,” Graves said. “I like the fact that he’s played doubles for a couple of years and has been able to move into a singles spot. I think doubles can really help your singles game.”
Senior Tylan Norris will be at No. 2 singles and junior Jayce Wagoner will be at the third singles spot. Juniors Hayden Bell-Jordan Berry will play at No. 1 doubles and at No. 2 doubles Graves has Caleb Dant-Wyatt Wade.
“We have so many spots that we have to fill this year — it’s a matter of seeing who will work well together in those doubles spots,” Graves said. “
The North Daviess boys tennis team ended 2012 with a loss in the finals of the sectional to Bloomfield on its home court and then lost four seniors to graduation. The loss of so much varsity experience created a large hole to fill for Cougars coach Brock Higgins.