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Tri-City tennis, golf teams eager to get 2008 campaigns underway



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April 02, 2008
TRI-CITY AREA — The last of our spring sports seasons, girls' tennis and boys' golf, should get their respective seasons underway this week.

That serves as good news for those of us who have waited patiently to see their first taste of action.

Here is a look at who those squads lost to graduation, their top returnees and a glimpse at how their seasons should pan out:

Tennis 2008

Almont Raiders

Coach and Assistants: Almont is coached by Mike Finton.

Top losses: Breeanna Streber (first singles), who now tests her court skills at Saginaw Valley State University, along with Stephanie Klebba (second doubles) and Janet Gebauer (fourth doubles) are Almont's top losses due to graduation.

Top returnees: Bobbi Enos, who was a Division 4 state quarterfinalist at second singles, and Michelle Fox, who was a Division 4 state semifinalist at third singles, are expected to battle it out for the top singles spot for Almont this spring.

Courtney Braun (fourth singles), Claire Turvill (first doubles), Christiana Simian (first doubles), Lena Yaklin (second doubles), Kristen Brinker (fourth doubles) and Jaime Ligon (fourth doubles) Melissa Wilber, Laurie Yaklin and Holly Hanson return as well. Their spots in the lineup have yet to be determined.

League Tournament showing: Almont tied Armada for first place at the Blue Water Area Conference Tournament.

Regional finish: The Raiders netted a second-place finish at a Division 4 regional.

Due to inclement weather conditions, play was moved indoors at the Genesys Athletic Club in Grand Blanc and the Genesee Valley Tennis Club in Flint.

State finals showing: Almont tied Flint Powers for 13th place at the Division 4 state finals.

Kalamazoo College, Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo Christian High School is where the action unfolded.

League favorites: Finton lists Armada and Yale, along with Almont, as the teams who should battle it out for Blue Water Area Conference honors this spring.

Season outlook: "We hope to fill in our losses and contend for the BWAC title as well as a regional title," Coach Finton said. "The latter will be made more difficult due to Flint Powers joining our regional," he noted.

"That addition sets two powerful tennis schools, Academy of the Sacred Heart and Powers, in our regional along with Armada and Yale. There will be much competition to advance to the state tournament this year."

Imlay City Spartans

Coach and Assistants: Imlay City is coached by Janet Lorenzen. She is assisted by Stephanie Watt.

Top losses: Audrey Beach (first singles), Kayla Johnson (second doubles) and Jessica Storey (first doubles) are the top Imlay City losses due to graduation.

Top returnees: Laurin Blount (second singles), Anita Almendarez (fourth singles), Becca Hibbler (first doubles), Emily Druker (second doubles), Krysta Wiegers (fourth doubles) along with Kayde Gudzikowski are the top Imlay City returnees.

League tournament showing: Imlay City tied Cros-Lex for fifth place at the Blue Water Area Conference Tournament.

Regional finish: The Spartans tied Madison Heights Bishop Foley for a seventh-place finish at a Division 4 regional hosted by Almont High School.

League favorites: Lorenzen lists Almont, Armada and Yale as the probable BWAC title favorites.

Season outlook: "Our numbers are good, which I wasn't sure they would be due to the change in the sports seasons," Coach Lorenzen said. "We lost some athletes to other sports but gained some others," she noted.

"I think we have a lot of talent. However, we haven't been outside often so it is hard to say where we stand. There are several good athletes out for the team, but they lack experience. Time will tell how well we do."



Golf 2008

Capac Chiefs

Coach: Capac is coached by Chris Huss. He takes over the assignment from Dave Young.

Top losses: Capac did not encounter any significant losses due to graduation.

Top returnees: Ken Randall, Kenny Burk, Jordan Konyha, Colton Randall and Justin VanBibber are the top Capac returnees.

League Tournament showing: Capac pulled up fourth at the Blue Water Area Conference Tournament.

Fore Lakes Golf Course is where the action unfolded.

District showing: The Chiefs saw to it that their season would continue, registering a sixth at a Division 3 district hosted by Holly Meadows Golf Course.

Regional showing: Capac took seventh at a Division 3 regional.

The Fortress Golf Course, in Frankenmuth, is where the action unfolded.

League favorites: Huss lists Richmond as the team to beat as far as the BWAC title hunt is concerned. He also believes Capac and Yale could be factors in the battle for league honors.

Season outlook: "We have several key players back from last season," Coach Huss said. "That is our greatest asset entering the season," he noted.

"We have been working on our conditioning and swings inside due to the bad weather. It will be great to finally get outside and use what we have learned out on the course."

Almont Raiders

Coach: Almont is coached by Mark Bone.

Top losses: Tim Streeter is the top Almont loss due to graduation.

Top returnees: Stephen Osborn, Kyle Henry, Lauren Bone, Ryan Sly and Jake McCarthy are the top Almont returnees.

League Tournament: Almont ranked seventh at the Blue Water Area Conference Tournament.

Fore Lakes Golf Course is where the action unfolded.

District showing: The Raiders wound up seventh at a Division 3 district hosted by Holly Meadows Golf Course in Capac.

League favorites: Bone pegs Richmond as the likely BWAC frontrunner this spring.

Season outlook: "We have been working on swing mechanics and conditioning to prepare us for the upcoming season," Coach Bone said. "Our team should be ready to go once the weather breaks," he noted.

Imlay City Spartans Coach:Imlay City is coached by Mike Parker.

Top losses: Paul DeBene is the top Imlay City loss due to graduation.

Top returnees: Cody Campbell, Drew Schultz and Kirk Haberski are Imlay City's top returnees.

League Tournament: Imlay City took eighth at the Blue Water Area Conference Tournament.

Fore Lakes Golf Course is where the action unfolded.

District showing: The Spartans notched an 11th at a Division 3 district hosted by Holly Meadows Golf Course in Capac.

League favorites: Parker lists Richmond as the likely Blue Water Area Conference champion. He also believes Yale and Capac will field highly-competitive squads which could challenge for league honors.

Season outlook: "We have a good group of returnees," Coach Parker said. "They will be joined by several promising newcomers," he noted.

"I look for them to have a good season. We should get better as the untested players gain experience."

Dryden Cardinals

Coach: Dryden is coached by Mark Newell.

Top losses: Kirk March-winski and Jason Jones are Dryden's top losses due to graduation.

Top returnees: Harley Hendrickson and Nick Popa are Dryden's top returnees.

League Tournament: Dryden registered a first at the North Central Thumb League Tournament.

Bird Creek Golf Course, in Port Austin, is where the action unfolded.

District showing: The Cardinals took second place at a Division 4 district hosted by Ubly Heights Golf Course.

Regional finish: Dryden claimed a seventh at a Division 4 regional.

Holly Meadows Golf Course, in Capac, is where the action unfolded.

League favorites: Newell pegs North Huron and Caseville as the probable North Central Thumb League title contenders.

Season outlook: "We do not have the experience that we have had in season's past," Coach Newell said. "Our team hopes to lower their scores as the season goes along and build toward the future," he noted.

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