HR boys varsity tennis is ranked 5th in the 5A Continental League with a record of 4-5 as of Sept. 26. The squad is mostly first time varsity tennis athletes as 8 varsity players of the past year graduated in spring of 2019.
The current boys varsity team has Talmadge Gibby, senior and team captain, and Luke Wood, junior, ranked number one doubles and Fohad-Amas Arias, senior, ranked number one singles. Arias shows promise according to fellow team mates. “He usually wins by large margins,” said Gibby. MaxPreps shows that Arias has won 3 of his 5 wins with at least one 6-0 set.
In the beginning of the season, Gibby said, “The key games this year will be Vista, Heritage, and Canyon.” The consecutive games played against Heritage, Rock Canyon, and Mountain Vista (9/12, 9/17, 9/19 in that order) show losses on behalf of Highlands Ranch.
The record of the squad thus far does not reflect the changes the program went through with replacing almost a full team of tennis players. The win percentage of 2019 is less than 10 percent under the 2018 season with 47.6 percent wins compared to the prior 56.3 percent, according to MaxPreps.
“Compared to last year, a lot changed,” Grant Seehausen, junior varsity tennis player said. “We focused more on hardwork and discipline.” Seehausen described how each practice had an emphasis on conditioning; something that was not a focus in the past. “The boys varsity tennis team raised our standards this year,” said Seehausen.
While varsity raised their standards, JV grew in numbers. The program is expanding. The boys tennis team grew by a large margin with a squad of about 30 JV players and 15 varsity players.
“We have a lot of fun. We actually played pretty well this year, at least JV did,” said Jake Means, senior JV doubles tennis player. Means’ partner, James Arkell, senior describes the atmosphere of the court during a match. “Jake gets angry sometimes, but I found out we work better together when we win. During the CastleView game I was painting lines out there,” Arkell said with a laugh. “Yeah, Jame’s jokes is a good counter for when I get competitive,” Means said while smiling. It is evident by Arkell’s tennis slang that this JV doubles duo did in fact finish with a record of 8-3
“This transitioning team has a bright future ahead because the program is becoming so strong,” said Gibby. Tuesday, Oct. 1. wrapped up the boys tennis season with a game against Castle View at Ranch, 3:30 pm. A few of the top players will continue to play at tournaments. The tournament schedule will be released by MaxPreps under Highlands Ranch boy’s tennis.
Noelle Harff, Associate Editor
Boys varsity tennis smiles after a mid season game Photo courtesy of @HRHSBoysTennis Twitter