Preview: Decorah HS Boys tennis team will compete in a conference for the first time this season

Posted: Tue, Mar 26, 2019 11:07 AM

Reg Laursen is in his 20th year of coaching boys tennis at Decorah High School. Assistant coaches this season are Drew Pellet, Matt Anderson, and Brett Wilker.

Returning top letterwinners include senior Billy Lange, juniors Aidan Hunter, Joe Holland, Kaj SpencerBerg, Rex Huinker, and sophomore Gabriel Anderson.

"We have a number of guys from last year's JV who have a shot if they progress. We will particularly need them when we play the Wisconsin format where we need 10 varsity players. Brendan Hunter is the only newcomer with significant tennis experience," said Laursen.

"Our team strength is that our top returning guys gained a lot of varsity experience last year. They have experienced being under fire at the varsity level. From what I have seen so far, I think some of them are significantly improved from last year. We have good team numbers, so I hope that depth will push the top six," added Laursen.

Concerns heading into the season is that more players are needed to play at a higher level and that an injury could damage the team's chances.

"Waterloo Columbus beat us 9-0 last year with all but one player returning. Dubuque Wahlert is the elephant in postseason play. I love all the experience that the top returners gained last year. I believe the addition of assistant coaches with significant tennis experience in Matt Anderson and Brett Wilker will be a great addition to the types of activities we will be able to run in practices. We will be able to give more individual attention to footwork and tactics. We will also, for the first time, have a Boy's Tennis Conference this year. Independence, Marion, Maquoketa, South Tama, Oelwein, Waverly-Shell Rock and Decorah. We can now aim to be Conference Champions," said Laursen.

On Saturday the boys will travel to compete against Waterloo West.