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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

Tennis anyone?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sikeston tennis players go through footwork drills while coach Russ Dial (left) looks on. The Bulldogs will open their season March 23 at Marion, Ill.
(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SHS more experienced in 2010


SIKESTON -- Entering his second year at the helm of the men's tennis program, Sikeston Bulldog's coach Russ Dial is hoping to build on the experience earned last season by a fairly raw group of players.

"Last season was like a new beginning for a lot of these guys who have never participated in organized tennis before," coach said. "They were learning basic fundamental techniques."

While the team had a few veteran leaders like current seniors Stuart Strom and Landon Hampton, most on the team spent the year learning the game.

"I would say seven out of those ten guys last year did not not know the game of tennis," Dial said. "They did not know the rules or the regulations.

"I think biggest thing that came was last year was the experience they gained."

And though this year will will have it's share of new faces, Dial thinks the increased numbers will lead to increased competition.

"We've got a great turnout this year, we've got 17 guys compared to 10 at the end of last season," he said. "That gives me a greater talent pool to work from.

"It creates more competition among the players and shows our program is moving forward"

If Strom performs anything like last year, he is expected to be Sikeston's go-to netter once again.

As Sikeston's No. 1, Strom finished the season strong, advancing to the Class 3 District 1 Tennis Championship singles finals, falling to Farmington's Eric Fuemmeler in the match.

Dial said while he realizes his team has a lot of growing to do he has high expectations of his team.

"My goal this year are to move on out of districts, possibly finishing second," he said. "That's a high goal there I've set for myself.

"I just want them to be as successful as can be and have fun while we're doing it."

The Bulldogs will open up their season next week when they travel to Marion, Ill. on March 23, with their home opener coming up April 1, both events at 4 p.m.

Sikeston tennis

Mar. 23at Marion, Ill., 4 p.m.
Mar. 29at Kennett, 4 p.m.
April 1Dexter, 4 p.m.
April 3at Farmington Tourney
April 6Kennett, 4 p.m.
April 8at Farmington, 4 p.m.
April 15at Charleston, 4 p.m.
April 19 at Poplar Bluff, 4 p.m.
April 20Cape Central, 4 p.m.
April 22Marion, Ill., 4 p.m.
April 24at Poplar Bluff Tourney
April 26at Carbondale, 4 p.m.
April 27at Cape Central, 4 p.m.
April 28at Dexter, 4 p.m.
May 3Charleston, 4 p.m.
May 4Dexter, 4 p.m.
May 10Poplar Bluff, 4 p.m.
May 13Districts at Sikeston