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Arlington tennis back on the court
ARLINGTON — With the onset of the fall season, the Arlington High School varsity boys tennis team is revving up and with a strong set of newcomers, and even stronger returners, the season is looking good.
“We didn’t have a lot of turnover this year,” said AHS head coach Sean Cunningham. “We have 10 varsity players who are all returners, we only had three seniors graduate last year. We are really only replacing one person in our starting lineup.”
The team that the Eagles built last season was strong then, but now that almost the entire crew has varsity experience the upcoming season is sure to be a success.
“Last year was a good experience for them,” said Cunningham. “It was really their first taste of varsity.”
In 2011, AHS boys tennis advanced one doubles team to the district tournament, but none further.
“We had a lot to build from last year,” said Cunningham. “This year is our opportunity to advance.”
Several schools previously in the same league as Arlington have been reclassified to 3A, which takes out some fierce competition.
“With the change in 4A and 3A, the reality is that we have a lot of new teams to compete with, mainly Mount Vernon and Lynnwood,” said Cunningham. “But with Stanwood out of 4A North, I think that 4A North is wide open and we have a real opportunity to compete for first.”
Overall, the Eagles are looking to go further than they have in previous seasons.
“We are going to be much better than last year. Our number one player, Trent Sarver, has really improved his game,” said Cunningham.
Sarver began playing tennis his freshman year at Arlington and found that with dedication and perseverance he could go far.
“My first year I was first JV and fourth singles varsity,” said Sarver. “I just practiced a lot over the summer.” Now Sarver is the No. 1 singles player with some big goals for this season.
“Of course, I really want to make it to state,” said Sarver, who practices between four and five hours a day. “I want to win the league and place at least in the top two in districts.”
Going to state is a big goal for the Eagles, and one that they look forward to each day.
“Certain programs demand respect because they win every year,” said Cunningham. “We want to establish that culture here.”
The team is confident that they have what it takes.
“During practice it’s pretty tense and that’s a good thing,” said Cunningham. “We have good camaraderie. Their spirits have buoyed more so with belief of what they can do.”
The team lost their first match to Stanwood, 6-1. They now face a home game against Monroe High School at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 13.