Billies look for depth to return to state


Parker Phillips sends a return on an express delivery back across the net during spring 2014 action on the Fredericksburg High School courts. FHS Coach Randall King said his experienced Billies returning from last year’s state finals team will need to be complemented quickly by improving young players if this year’s squad stands a chance of going the distance. — Standard-Radio Post/Lisa Treiber-Walter

By Lisa Treiber-Walter

 

Depth. That’s what the Fredericksburg High School (FHS) varsity tennis players are going to need to strive for above all else if they want to win in the fall season ahead.

“For us, it’s the depth of our ladder,” said Randall King, head FHS tennis coach who led his Billie netters to a 25-7 record last year, complete with a second-place finish in state Class 3A team tennis play.

A large chunk of that winning team graduated and moved on, “but we have a strong foundation returning,” King said. Slated to come back to the courts are eight returning lettermen, including three boys and five girls, who also happen to be seven juniors and one sophomore.

“Our season will depend, really, on how the lower part of our ladder performs,” he said. “We will have players with no varsity experience filling out our sixth, seventh and eighth spots on the ladder. If they work hard and improve through August and September, we have the potential to return to the state tournament.”

All signs are looking up. Most of the players have been on the court over the summer playing in recreational, yet competitive tournaments, taking lessons and attending rigorous camps to keep up their conditioning and to hone their skills.

“As a team, we will need to grow early and bond. We have a great group of kids that can accomplish plenty this fall,” King said.

So far, rankings of Texas’ top tennis teams have not been released.

When they are, though, “I think we will find ourselves in the Top 5 for pre-season rankings,” King said.

Always strong powerhouse Abilene Wylie will again be the team to beat, he said. Vernon will be strong, as well, he added.

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