With a new coach comes something of a clean slate for the Monarch boys tennis team.
Gone are all three singles players, and only five players who received varsity time remain on the roster. It means some reshuffling, some new additions and, essentially, a chance for Christopher Turner to build his first team from scratch.
“I think it’s nice to take over during what also is a transitional time for the program,” said Turner, the longtime Monarch girls tennis coach and former boys assistant. “Even with losing some great players last year, I think we can get off to a good start with the players that we have and continue to grow from there.”
Incumbents include Jason Nguyen and Jason Ferry, who comprised the No. 1 doubles team last season. Each is expected to earn a singles spot this season.
“It actually hasn’t been too difficult, because I play a lot of tennis year-round,” Ferry said of the transition. “I play a lot of USTA tournaments and I play a lot of singles tournaments. As much as I like to play doubles, I think I’m pretty well-prepared to play singles.”
It is a common misperception that Nguyen is the brother of former Monarch No. 1 singles player Justin Nguyen, but the two are not related.
Derek Wright and freshman Jack Ferry will compete for the final singles spot. This Ferry is in fact the brother of Jason Ferry.
“He’s a good up-and-coming player, so we’ll see if he makes it or not,” Jason Ferry said. “He will later on, even if he doesn’t make it this year. I don’t think he’s going to take it too hard if he ends up playing doubles.”
Wright was a varsity doubles player last season, as were fellow returners Chad Brown and Nick Ness. Brown and Ness will remain doubles players, Turner said.
Turner has 30 players trying out for the team, plenty of crop from which to whittle down to his varsity 11. After that is decided, it’s a matter of putting a virtually new team on the courts and seeing what happens.
“Obviously the team was successful last season because it was a very talented team,” Turner said. “I know we have some tough league matches ahead of us, but it’d be nice to perform similarly. I think having a winning dual record overall would be a great way to start.
“I do think we have the potential to qualify some kids for state, so that’d be nice to have as well.”
Follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulWillis21