By Gerry Steele
Baker's boys tennis team is going to have a tough time running its district winning streak to four straight seasons.
That's because, for the first time in several years, the boys team has fewer players than the Baker girls team.
"We've got just six boys. That's it," said Baker boys coach George Keister.
But, a plus for the Bulldogs is that half of the players on the boys team advanced to district and state a year ago.
Senior Lukas Huggins returns as the district singles champion.
Senior Jesse Burk also returns. He placed third at district a year ago.
Both of those players advanced to state.
Matthew Barnes, another state qualifier, also returns. He teammed with the graduated Isaac Mansuetti to place second in doubles at district.
Barnes is playing singles this season.
"He improved so much last year," Keister said.
The doubles team of Ezra Taylor and Hunter Stone also returns.
Newcomer Ian Rasmussen joins the team from Hood River Valley.
"He's played very little teannis, but he moves well," Keister said.
"I think he could do pretty good."
Keister said former Bulldog Luke Rembold is helping coach the team.
Baker girls coah Amy Younger welcomed 16 girls out for her team this spring.
Except for a pair of graduated seniors the bulk of this year's young team saw action a year ago.
"I've seen some growth from last year," Younger said.
Returning player Hollis Robb and freshman Grace Huggins are vying for the No. 1 singles berth. Huggins currently is nursing an ankle injury suffered playing basketball.
Others in the mix for singles time are Megan Burk, Stella Bowers, Tori Gentili, Alex Wachtel, Josie Bryan and Ashley Taylor.
Projected doubles teams are Lena Bowers and Hannah Wilson, Lindsay Livingston and Kassidy Hertel, Brooke Bogardus and Mackenzie Patterson and Bryson Thomas and Kara Bennett.