WHS BOYS' TENNIS PREVIEW: New courts, same mentality for WHSWORTHINGTON — The grass outside the Worthington Middle School has become a concrete tennis court with new nets and fences and a new place for the Worthington boys’ tennis team to call home.
WORTHINGTON — The grass outside the Worthington Middle School has become a concrete tennis court with new nets and fences and a new place for the Worthington boys’ tennis team to call home.
“It’s like moving from third class to first class,” four-year varsity tennis player Dan Wetering said.
A new home for the Trojans will not change the want to win. Since heading to state in 2009, the Trojans have fallen in the section championship to Luverne in back-to-back seasons, including a 4-3 defeat in 2010.
With new fences, nets, and courts laid out for four courts with four more waiting for paint by the end of the month at the Worthington Middle School, the Trojans are looking for a new outcome at the section finals this season.
“We’re right there and I think we have a quality team that can get back to that point, but we know on any given day anyone can beat anyone,” WHS coach Mike Marquardt said. “Luverne is really good and are really young.
“We have to win the big points.”
Wetering returns at No. 1 singles for the Trojans and is the lone contributor remaining on the squad from the 2009 state qualifying team. Wetering would like no better than to qualify for state in his final high school tennis campaign.
“I want to go to state and it’s a realistic goal,” Wetering said. “I can compete with anyone in this area.
“I just need to work hard because the guys at the top ar e really hard to beat.”
Wetering doesn’t want to make the trip to state alone. He’s been to state with a team in multiple sports and understands it’s a rare feeling.
“You can’t even describe what it feels like to make it to state,” Wetering said. “You enjoy every moment with your teammates and your coaches.
“It’s a huge deal and it means that hard work pays off.”
The Trojans have a few changes in their roster from last season. Jonah Oberloh and Matt Sorensen moved from No. 3 doubles to No. 1 doubles for Worthington. Oberloh and Sorensen welcome the challenge.
“We’re going to keep the same game,” Sorensen said. “We have a good chemistry together and it’s just going to be better competition, so we’re just going to have to play better and get good shots.”
Oberloh echoed his partner’s sentiments.
“There’s a big jump from No. 3 doubles to No. 1 doubles, but hopefully we can step up,” Oberloh said. “You have to be more accurate, get shot placement and get serves down.
“We just need to work on everything basically.”
Carter Lindner moved from No. 3 singles to No. 2 singles, Andrew Johnson moved from No. 2 doubles to No. 3 singles and Lance Homan will remain at No. 4 singles.
In doubles, Ben Doeden and Dillon Pedersen take over at No. 2 doubles and Travis Vuong and Kody Honius will take over at No. 3 doubles.
“You are always going to have to make some switches,” Marquardt said. “It gives other kids a chance to step up.
“We know we can get back to the section finals, but it’s a step-by-step process and hopefully we improve each match.”
The Trojans want more than just the section finals.
“There’s tough competition, but sky’s the limit for this team,” Wetering said.
Worthington opens up the season and the doors to its new home today versus Pipestone Area.
Daily Globe Sports Editor Chris Murphy can be reached at 376-7328.