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Heading into the new season swinging and hitting

Clarkston Boys Varsity Tennis team. Photo provided (click for larger version)
August 29, 2012 - The Wolves are ready to get back to the court with returners Dan Agnew, Matt Dahl, Brendan Greenlee, Scott Schultz, Joseph and John Whall leading the way.

"We have a very young team," said Clarkston Boys Varsity Tennis Coach Chas Claus. "We graduated ten seniors last year. We have a lot of gapping holes to fill."

One of the seniors was Zach Finn, who passed away as the boys prepared for the fall season.

"We start the season in mourning for a loss of a good friend," Claus said. "I have been very proud of how Zach's friends have handle the loss. I am honored to have known him as a person and coach him for four years."

The boys opened their season with a loss against Stoney Creek, 6-2, and taking fifth at the Grand Blanc tournament - both preparing them for the bulk of the season.

"It's an opportunity to see the best of the best," Claus said about the tournament.

Freshman Alexis Waselwanter won Singles #4 after a long close match to take the win.

"Greenlee had a solid day," added Claus.

The Wolves will take what they learned as they compete this week at Troy Athens, Northville Quad, and an OAA match against Berkley.

"We need to get off on the right foot," said Claus.

One of the goals for the season is to win the league. Seaholm is gunning for the top of the league again this year and Rochester and Lake Orion will be just as competitive. Another goal is to get to the state finals.

"They are challenging goals for us given the quality of opponents we face," said Claus. "We want to gain experience and we want to win."

"It's a rebuilding year for us," said Schultz. "Our team is becoming pretty strong. We have a lot coming up from freshman year."

The strength comes from the boys playing tennis year round even the newest faces and talent on the team.

"These are not players who are not completely inexperienced," Claus said about the new players. "They know the game. They love the game. Many of them play year round as well. It is a really talented group despite being rookies."

The six returners have already started leading the team and show them the way.

"A lot of us have experience playing high school tennis," Dahl added. "We already know what to expect."

The boys first home meet is on Sept. 6 against Avondale, 4 p.m.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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