The Butte Central tennis teams open the 2015 season under new leadership.
Becky Hancock takes over the Maroons this season, and the new head coach says the team she inherits from Bernie Carey is loaded with potential.
The Maroons will show off that potential in their season-opening match against Hamilton at 11 a.m. Saturday at Father Sheehan Park.
The Maroons have 12 boys and 10 girls out for the team, which was hit hard by graduation after last season.
“It’s a good number,” said Hancock, who took over as head coach of the Butte Central volleyball team last fall.
Frank Hendrickson is the only senior — boy or girl — on the team. He will take over the No. 1 singles spot for the Maroons.
Hancock said Hendrickson seems ready to make the move from a No. 3 player to the top spot, where he will routinely be paired against the best players in the Class A.
“That’s a big jump,” the coach said.
The doubles side will be led by “Team Sam,” as juniors Sam Sterns and Sam Joyce are back after a strong 2014 season. The duo will take over the No. 1 spot, which was held by division champions Kale Guldseth and Tyler Trudnowski a year ago.
Guldseth and Trudnowski were lost to graduation.
“Bernie did a really good job with them,” Hancock said of her boys’ team. “He really build the program and got them competitive. I’m looking for good things from the boys.”
Junior Jake McPherson will play No. 2 singles for the Maroons. Freshman Tyge Yelenich will be the No. 3 player Saturday, while sophomore Ian Campbell will be in the No. 4 spot.
Hancock said the No. 2 through 4 spots could chance week to week.
Juniors Frank Dwyer and Zach Luebeck will play No. 2 doubles, while freshmen Tash Lester and Shane Callahan will slide into the No. 3 doubles spot.
Hancock said freshman Colby Kline and sophomore Brian Arnold will also be in the mix, possibly as a doubles team, later in the season. Neither has enough practices in to compete on Saturday.
Kline came out for the team this week, while Arnold decided to shed the title of team manager for a spot on the court.
On the girls’ side, juniors Ali Guldseth and Kellsie Quinn bring experience to the No. 1 doubles spot for the Maroons.
The Maroons also have experience on the singles’ side. Junior Larysa Blavatsky will take over the No. 1 singles spot. Junior Sarah Drew will play No. 2, while classmate Megan McPherson will play at No. 3 and freshman Zoe Sullivan will slide into the No. 4 role.
Juniors Sierra Pica and Ryan Trudnowski, to forces in the paint for the Butte Central basketball team, will team up for the No. 2 spot in doubles. Freshmen Samantha Burton and Savanna Healy will play No. 3 doubles.
The Maroons mixed and matched doubles teams and singles players last season. Hancock said she intends to keep the lineup steady this season.
The coach said her team girls’ has the ability to possibly do some good things, too.
“They’re athletes,” Hancock said. “If I can get them that competitive edge out of them, they can compete with other schools.”
Clarissa Stajcar, one of Hancock’s assistants with the BC volleyball team, will be an assistant coach.
The Maroons will play on their home courts a lot this season. After Hamilton, the Maroons will welcome Corvallis on April 9.
In all, BC will host five meets before the Southwestern A Divisional tournament is held in Butte May 14-16.