The Blue Earth Area Buccaneer boys tennis team has a new coach this season.
Well, sort of.
Buc girls tennis coach Konny Wolff stepped in for boys coach Terry Barnes last year when Barnes missed the last couple of matches due to health issues.
The 2013 Blue Earth Area Buccaneer boys tennis team has been practicing indoors at the Faribault County Fitness Center. The team includes front row, left to right: Jaron King, Cole Klinksiek, Spenser Timmerman, Spencer Petersen and Chandler Kienitz. Back row: Coach Konny Wolff, Eric Purvis, Chance Andrews, Martin Granados, Trenton Stindtman and Ben Gettis. Not pictured: Hunter Myers.
This season, Wolff is officially taking over the reins as the Buc head coach.
"I guess I don't really know a lot about the boys team," Wolff says. But I do know I am excited about coaching them, and they are full of enthusiasm for this season."
Wolff says she has almost every one of the boys who were out for the team season except one back out this year.
"There were only 10 out for the whole season last year," she says. "It was a little short on numbers."
Five of the 10 last year had not played tennis before, so the team was also short on experience.
"This year they have some varsity experience under their belts and they seem much improved," she says.
This year, the team could have 13 members, but two are still undecided between tennis and another sport.
Wolff expects junior Hunter Myers to reclaim his No. 1 singles position, as will senior Eric Purvis at No. 2 singles.
From there, some decisions will have to be made.
"I wasn't able to see Chance Andrews play last year because he was injured when I coached the team," Wolff says. "But he will be one of the leaders."
Andrews, a junior, and Cole Klinksiek, a senior, will both see a lot of action, either at singles or in doubles.
Team members also include Jaron King, Spenser Timmerman, Spencer Petersen, Chandler Kienitz, Martin Granados, Trenton Stindtman and Ben Gettis.
The team has two seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and two freshman. There are also two seventh graders on the team this year.
The coach says she and the boys have one goal in mind.
"They didn't win a match last year," she says. "We will do everything we can to win some this year."
There is a lot of tough competition out there, however.
The coach expects both St. James and St. Peter to be at the top of the list.
"St. Peter is going to be really good again," the coach says. "Waseca will be right up there, too."
And, Holy Family Catholic won the Section last year and Wolff thinks they will be the team to beat again.
Wolff is no newcomer to tennis, despite the fact that she just received her boys tennis certification two weeks ago.
Besides coaching girls, she was a standout tennis player at Blue Earth Area herself, playing on the varsity level starting in seventh grade, going to state as a team two years and taking second in state one year in doubles.
Now she wants to develop a winning attitude in this year's boys team.
"They certainly are excited to get started," she says. "But right now we are practicing at the (Faribault County) Fitness Center and it is not much fun with 12 boys trying to play on one court. We can't wait to get started playing outside soon."
The team has their first match on April 11, and it would be nice to have some outside practice time before then.
They host St. Peter, so they would love to get as much practice under their belts as possible before then.
Wolff says two of the team members, Purvis and Myers, went to a tennis camp at Gustavus College last summer and are really showing improved skills.