Bartlett Tennis Coach Kris Bevins is honest in his appraisal of the Panther tennis team.
“We have 36 players, most of them novices,” Bevins said.
“Our boy’s team is looking pretty good with four returning players and a couple of new contenders. For the girls, it would be considered a rebuilding year,” Bevins said.
Seniors Hayden Brush and Kelly Hill lead the men’s netters with Brush Bartlett’s number two singles player a year ago.
Also back are juniors Chris Hall and Al Gamble. Those four will be pushed by newcomers Devin Wells and Chris Bay, both of whom may work into top two status by the end of the year,” Bevins noted.
“Brush (Hayden) and Hall (Chris) are both one of the top seeds in the district,” Bevins said. “Devin Wells might surprise – he’s a great natural athlete and Chris Bay came from the football program.”
Last year the Panther’s played around .500 tennis. This year’s mix of experience and new talent may be enough to push Bartlett into the upper tier of teams, Bevins believes.
Bartlett’s girls are long on numbers and return some talent as well.
Junior Hailey McKinney is back and should push to be number one singles on this year’s squad. Classmate Hannah Brereton also returns as does sophomore Jordan Altrock.
Bevins is also excited about the addition of freshman Maykayla Douglas, a tennis court veteran even as a freshman.
“Maykayla’s very promising,” Bevins said.
Cordova and Bolton are Benton’s competition, according to the third-year coach.
The Panthers will get an early taste of the competition as they open their season against Bolton March 20 at 2:30 p.m.