RONDA — The Cardinals return reigning singles conference champion Dillon Shew at No. 1; Jeffrey Haynes at No. 3; and Justus Brickey at No. 3 doubles, but after that they’ll rely on several newcomers, including a junior (Matthew Philley), two freshmen (Landon Osborne and Kyle Rhodes), and a first-year senior (Stone Bauguess).
“One of the youngest teams I’ve ever coached,” East Wilkes Coach Aaron Simmons said. “We have a slew of freshmen. Frustrating at times, but exciting, too.”
The Cardinals will be forced to grow quickly as they face teams like Elkin, Mount Airy and Bishop McGuinness. Despite a 9-0 loss at Mount Airy earlier this season, Simmons is expecting improvement by season’s end.
“This team is going to be a whole lot better in a couple of weeks,” Simmons said. “Even though we haven’t won a championship, I think we can compete a little bit better.
“Hopefully we’re not too far away.”
East Wilkes was 2-1 going into its match at Wilkes Central yesterday. Their next home match will be versus Elkin Wednesday.
East Wilkes tennis at a glance
Coach: Aaron Simmons, 8th year
Conference: Mountain Valley Athletic
Last Year’s Record: 13-5, lost in 2nd round to Elkin
Returnees: Dillon Shew, No. 1, Jr.; Jeffrey Haynes, No. 3, Sr.; Justus Brickey, Sr.
Newcomers: Matthew Philley, No. 2, Jr.; Landon Osborne, No. 4, Fr.; Kyle Rhodes, No. 5, Fr.; Stone Bauguess, Sr.; Cole Bauguess, So.; Devon Fuller, So.; Tristan Davis, Jr.; Dalton Payne, So.; Omar Everett, So.; Joah Logan, Fr.; Colby Cooper, So.; Andrew Sales, Fr.; Andrew Newman, Fr.; Dylan Harris, Fr.; Logan Cothren, Fr.
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @elkinareasports.