(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
DEXTER -- Losing four out of six varsity players would definitely put any team in a rebuilding year situation for the upcoming season.
But, for first year head coach Leanne Dooley and her Dexter High School girls tennis team's case, they have one half of the 2007 first place district doubles team and state qualifier Katelyn Heil returning to the squad as their leader on the court.
"I'm expecting Katelyn to give her best because she always does," Dooley said. "She doesn't know the word 'quit.' She'll be a senior leader I'm sure and if her attitude spreads throughout the team we'll be reasonably tough even though we have only eight players."
Last year Heil and her doubles partner, Amanda Dooley, finished in the top eight in state which gave them all-state honors. Unfortunately, Heil lost her doubles partner due to graduation and has not yet found a replacement.
The only other player for Dexter with any varsity experience is Catherine Kinchen.
Dooley said that Kinchen "shows quite a bit of potential" returning from her freshman year last year.
A new addition to the Lady Bearcats varsity will be Jill Temples.
Temples, who also plays for the girls basketball team, has already moved up to fourth rank on the team.
"She ran cross country, track and is an outstanding basketball player here at Dexter High School," Dooley said about Temples. "She's getting better quickly."
Other players that Dexter will be relying on to fill the experience void is Julie Bell and Audra Lasater. Bell (sr.) and Lasater (soph.) both were on the junior varsity team last year.
Although this is Dooley's first year with the girls tennis team she has spent her last seven years as the boys coach at Dexter.
"This will be my first year to coach girls tennis at Dexter High School so I have no real figures on last year's season," Dooley said. "I have some tennis experience, just not with coaching girls."
Dexter will start their season off by hosting Charleston on Sept. 2 at 4 p.m.
Coach: Leanne Dooley
2008 roster: Katelyn Heil, Catherine Kinchen, Julie Bell, Audra Lasater, Jill Temples, Jessica Snider
Players lost: Amanda Dooley, Kristin Lemons, Kenda Rinehart, Emily Vines
Sept. 2 -- vs. Charleston, 4 p.m.
Sept. 3 -- at Sikeston, 4 p.m.
Sept. 4 -- vs. Poplar Bluff, 4 p.m.
Sept. 9 -- at Kennett, 4 p.m.
Sept. 10 -- at Caruthersville, 4 p.m.
Sept. 15 -- at Charleston, 4 p.m.
Sept. 16 -- at Poplar Bluff, 4 p.m.
Sept. 18 -- vs. Cape Central, 4 p.m.
Sept. 22 -- at Farmington, 4 p.m.
Sept. 25 -- vs. Jackson, 4 p.m.
Sept. 27 -- Farmington Tournament, TBA
Sept. 29 -- vs. Kennett, 4 p.m.
Sept. 30 -- at Cape Central, 4 p.m.
Oct. 1 -- vs. Sikeston, 4 p.m.
Oct. 4 -- Jackson Doubles Tourney, TBA
Oct. 9 -- District Tournament, TBA