Youth raises questions for Bulldog tennis teams

By GERRY STEELE Baker City Herald March 19, 2009 02:02 pm
Baker tennis teams are in season of gaining experience

Baker’s boys and girls tennis teams are in a season of change. Several of the older players from recent years have graduated or decided not play. In their place are some young, raw players who will need time to develop.

“The bottom line is we’re going to be real challenged to compete,” said George Keister, Baker’s head coach.

Keister takes over the helm from Adrienne Bachman, who stepped down after last year. Joel Cummings, a former Bulldog doubles player, will be Keister’s assistant coach this season.

Baker’s boys squad is very small this season with just nine players out.

“We’ve lost about nine or 10 boys from competition the past couple of years,” Keister said.

Four boys return from last season.

Sophomores Trenton Howard and Dan Sizer and seniors Robert Schmeits and Gus Hansen played last season.

“Sizer is really enthusiastic about playing, and Schmeits can play both singles and doubles,” Keister said.

Schmeits reached the consolation quarterfinals at the state tournament last season.

The rest of the boys lineup will come from young, untested players.

The Baker girls, the defending district champions, also lost several top players to graduation.

“We have a few people back, and we have nine freshmen and a couple of others who haven’t played,” Keister said. “We’re trying to see where they fall in.”

Doubles team Lilly Bass and Ellen Jampolsky return. The duo placed fourth at district and qualified for state last season, losing their first state match.

“These girls are enthusiastic and can do well,” Keister said.

Kim Countryman and Julie Tipton form Baker’s second doubles team.

Courtney Petry, who was second at district and advanced to the consolation final at state a year ago, and Robbie Langrell return in singles play.