Spartans boys tennis a work in progress

Apr. 28—The Conneaut boys tennis team is short on experience and numbers in the 2023 season.

But that's not deterring Colin Priestap in trying to build a program and compete.

"We make do with what we have," he said.

Sophomores Hayden Chiarelli and Sophia Magnusen and freshmen Sean Young and Logan Forester make up the Spartans team.

"Hayden is a little familiar having been on the team last year, and Sean played at the junior high level," Priestap said.

Chiarelli and Young scored Conneaut's points in the Ashtabula County Boys Tennis Tournament over the weekend at Lakeside.

The Spartans scored three points. In a close battle, Jefferson edged Saint John 23-31 for the team crown. Geneva had 20 points, followed by Lakeside with 18 and Edgewood at 17.

"Tennis is pretty instense," Priestap said. "There's no slouch losing to those teams. If we beat them, that's a good goal."

As an independent team for this season before joining the Chagrin Valley Conference next school year, Conneaut has gone against county schools in duals, along with facing Madison and Harborcreek, Erie and Fairview from Pennsylvania.

The Spartans are winless on the season.

Priestap's main goals are to teach the sport, and attempt to get more players out.

"I'm going to show them what [former long-time Falcons tennis coach Louis] Mr. Murphy showed me," he said. "He showed me how to hit, play sharp, be competitive and hit every shot like it's your last shot.

"I'm encouraging our players to play in the tennis ladder, and our players to ask others if they are interested in playing tennis."

Priestap is a 2020 Jefferson graduate. He played basketball and tennis for the Falcons.

Priestap has also been a regular in the Ashtabula County Tennis Ladder over the summer.

"My primary goal is to teach tennis," he said.