Stars eager to start season

Mar. 25—With virtually their entire roster back from a year ago and a bevy of young talent coming in, there is a lot of excitement within the Western Boone tennis team this spring.

The Stars have arguably their biggest squad every, and have been putting in the time to get read for the upcoming season.

"We have 32 players total and I am really happy with how the girls have come together early on," Western Boone head coach Colin Haney said. "They have continued to build the culture we have been trying to build."

The Stars graduated last year's No. 2 singles player in Leelah Fettig, but return the rest of the squad, including some of their JV girls who are now ready to challenge for some varsity spots.

Haney said the girls have been pushing each other in practice, and have set some lofty goals for the seasons.

"It's an exciting time," Haney said. "I think we are going to have some fluctuation in our line-up early on, we have a lot of talent up and down our team that can emerge. Every year we want to place in at least in the top-3 in conference, and we want to do that again and challenge for the conference title."

When looking at leaders on the team, Haney said there have been numerous girls that have stepped up into those roles.

"Addie Jones and Abby Brunty are both returning captain, and they bring a lot every day," Haney said. "They are both doing a really good job, and Clara Meadows has really developed into a great leader too."

Isabel Adams, Janie Ransom, Cami Baird and Mallory Hayden all played in the sectional line-up a year.

Lindsey Steimel, Olivia Smith and Ella Shepherd are also players who have been playing well in the pre-season and will get chances in the line-up.

"I think we have a lot of good experience and that's something we lacked last year," Haney said. "We had a lot of brand new players to the varsity line-up and I think those experiences from last year in those tough 50-50 matches that didn't go our way, we can learn from and get this year."

The Stars have their opener on April 2 at home against Benton Central.

Especially being on spring break right before the opener, Haney said the Stars are putting in as much work as they can to be as ready possible for the Bison.

"We have been outside more than I remember in the pre-season and have accomplished a lot," Haney said. "I think the girls will be ready to go."

Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.