Record numbers, return of Tendick have Bonner Springs tennis squad excited to kick off new season
A boomtown popped up on the Bonner Springs High School tennis courts Monday, Aug. 15, and its population will be sticking around for quite a while.
The first day of fall sports practices brought a record 35 players to girls tennis tryouts — and head coach Bill Scott and assistant coach Deb Loker are keeping everyone.
“There are 15 newcomers and 20 returners,” said Scott, who is beginning his 33rd season with the girls’ program. “I will not cut any, but I will feel sorry for the girls who end up below 20 on the ladder. There’s just no matches in their future.”
Scott said he welcomes all players interested in learning the sport and developing their skills, but some of them will have to sacrifice the competition aspect in order to stay with the program this season.
“Most of my squad are sophomores — about 15 of them,” Scott said. “Five are also cheerleaders, and one is a cross country runner, as well.”
The large tennis squad has the luxury of practicing daily on resurfaced courts, which is something Scott has lobbied for in recent years. The two courts behind the school now are a shiny blue and free of cracks.
“That was my request, and when the top four courts (in front of the school) are done in the future, they will be blue, as well,” Scott said.
“We love our new blue resurfaced courts (behind the school). We are going to use them as our teaching courts with me and the ball machines every day, and the upper courts for play. Those two courts have gone from being the courts no one wanted to play on to the courts of choice now. The young players hope the upper courts become blue soon before they graduate.”
The resurfaced courts will provide an upgraded training facility for the Braves, and senior Breanna Tendick in particular. A fourth-year tennis player, Tendick played singles as a freshman and then qualified for state in doubles as a sophomore and junior.
Tendick will be the Braves’ top player again this season, although Scott is unsure if she will stay with doubles or return to singles.
“If I don’t find a doubles partner that is successful with her, she may be our singles number one,” he said.
Numerous doubles options exist for Tendick. Among them are top returners Melissa Cisneros, Toni Stock, Lauren Callahan, Bethany Bailey, Sammy Weller, Jessica Moulin, Aubrey Julo, and Emily and Hannah Hunt.
Kayla Fratzel missed last season with an injury, but Scott said he is hopeful that Fratzel will be fully healed and ready to compete this fall.
Overall, Scott said he is excited for the season to begin.
“This will be a fun squad to work with,” he said. “I hope the heat goes away so we can start the year off with good long practices. We start play very early with a dual with Bishop Miege on August 30, and a JV tournament at Mill Valley the next day. That doesn’t give us much time to figure out who plays where.
“One more wish I have for the season is that we say at the 4A classification and avoid Aquinas, Blue Valley West, Miege and Mill Valley in the regionals.”