The Butte High tennis teams will hit the road with many questions as the Bulldogs open the season with a 2 p.m. match Saturday at Missoula Big Sky.
Butte High will send 12 boys and 12 girls to play varsity action. Who will play doubles and who will play singles hasn’t necessarily been set, Butte High coach Mavis Bentley said.
Bentley said it is important that all her players be ready to play doubles and singles, and she probably won’t have a finalized lineup until Saturday.
“Sometimes I change it on the bus,” Bentley said of her lineup. “It depends on who makes the bus.”
Bentley has 38 boys and 21 girls out for the team this season.
Senior Aidan Amtmann leads the Butte High girls’ squad after last year’s state tournament appearance. Amtmann played at state with doubles partner Kaitlyn Vetter, who was a senior last year.
Amtmann will likely play as the No. 1 singles player this weekend. Amtmann is the lone senior varsity player for the Bulldogs.
Also playing varsity for the Butte High girls this weekend will be juniors Molly Nelson, Carlee Johnson, Lakyn Ludwick, Sierra McGinnis, McKaul Ori, Molly Sprunger, Jesslyn Valle, Sidney Jennings sophomore Jessica Rosa and freshmen Jacee Sprunger, Janae Valle and Mati Jones.
Bentley said the boys are in a “building year.” The Bulldogs will enter the first part of the season shorthanded because of a school trip an and injury.
Senior Dustin LaMiaux will be out a few weeks with a broken bone in his foot, while juniors Blake Casagranda, Marcus Madrazo, Seth Jaksha and James Keenan don’t have enough practices in because they took a school trip to Germany.
On Saturday, Griff Warner will be the lone senior competing at the varsity level for the Bulldog boys.
Also playing will be juniors Andy Kelly, Levin Mullaney, Dennis Powers, Tyler Reilly, Nate Scherman, Lucas Tenney, Jake Williams and Tyler Ossello, sophomore Riley Sheridan and freshmen Brett Bentley and Hunter McGinnis.
Mavis Bentley said the best thing her boys’ squad has going for it is competition. She said the Bulldogs hold challenge matches pretty much every practice.
“I only take the top 12, and they’re all fighting for a spot.,” she said.
The Bulldogs will only play at home twice this season. They play host to Missoula Big Sky on April 24. Two days later, Butte High plays Helena Capital and Helena High at home.
The divisional tournament is set for May 15-16 in Helena, and state is the next week at Montana State University in Bozeman. Schedule