By GERRY STEELE
Numbers will be a problem for the Baker tennis teams this season. That's as in a lack of numbers.
For a team to field a complete team of three singles and three doubles teams at district it needs at least nine bodies.
So far this spring that's exactly what Baker has on its boys roster - nine. The Baker girls have one fewer - eight.
"We have a small team this year," said Baker head coach George Keister.
"We're just not getting any recruitment. We're just not getting the numbers out."
And, Keister said, it could get worse next season because most of this year's rosters are upper classmen.
"I think the boys team will be fairly strong, but next year could be a different story," he said.
Last year's No. 1 doubles team of Lukas Huggins and Jordan Curtis returns. That duo advanced to state a year ago after placing second at district.
Brandon Zunino, part of last year's No. 3 district doubles team, also returns but is nursing an arm injury suffered during wrestling season.
Nathan Eiselein and Ivan Hansen are currently vying for the No. 1 singles spot.
Other players on the boys roster are Cooper Brooks, Jesse Burk, JJ Vela, and Chance Parry.
The girls roster, coached by Jodie Averett, is still unsettled Keister said.
Kate Sizer probably will be the top singles returning player.
Others on the roster are Jessica McKim, Devon Galiszewski, Kadie Dobbel, Delaney Kee, Emily Miller, Makayla Williams and Rhianna Gilbert.
"We're just going to have to see who plays what," Keister said.
"We probably will have to have some challenge matches to see who plays where each week."
Baker will host the GOL district tournament this spring, May 10-11 at the Ash Grove Complex.