ACES RETURN — Members of the Fairmont Cardinal tennis group opening the season by traveling to Worthington on Tuesday include things like, front row (l-r): Jensen Schomberg, Daniela Becerra, Jangabriel Berrios and Simone Castro. Middle row: Johanna Petschke, Noah Vetter, Tyler Slama, Olivia Ortega, Anthony Stegge, Carter Quist and Levi Loughmiller. Back row: Assistant coach Laura Olsen, Reed Wagner, Sebastian Castro, Jack Hagen, Dominick Lund-May perhaps, Blake Hatfield, Wylee Frederiksen, Zachary Ashland and head coach Eric Johnson. Not pictured: Oliver Thedens. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Head coach Eric Johnson and his Fairmont tennis group are cautiously optimistic heading into the 2023 season.

So far this spring, the group has been indoors operating on drills as the climate hasn’t cooperated.

“We can do drills indoors and get some function in, but it is not like getting outdoors and on the courts,” Johnson mentioned. “We’ve had some years exactly where we have been shoveling the snow off the courts and this year it appears like it is ‘wait and see’ with the climate. We want to be outdoors and operating out on the courts, but at least we can function in the health club. It is greater than practically nothing at all.”

Johnson returns most of his players from final season, which bodes effectively for the impending schedule.

“We have fairly substantially everybody back. Many of the children grew larger and stronger in the offseason, when some worked on their game. We’re hoping the added function place in by the children and the year of encounter spend off.”

This year’s group involves varsity veterans Anthony Stegge, Carter Quist, Dominick Lund-May perhaps, Jack Hagen, Noah Vetter, Oliver Thedens, Olivia Ortega, Sebastian Castro and Simone Castro.

Other individuals who played junior varsity have been Levi Loughmiller, Reed Wagner, Wylee Frederiksen and Zachary Ashland.

Watch for newcomers Tyler Slama, Jensen Schomberg, Daniela Becerra, Blake Hatfield and Jangabriel Berrios as they attempt to crack the varsity lineup this season.

Johnson’s assistant coach is Laura Olsen, the Fairmont girls varsity coach through the fall season.

The group completed two-12 general a year ago, losing a six-1 choice to St. Peter in the section group tournament’s 1st round.

In sectional person play, Hagen went 1-1 through singles competitors to lead the Fairmont players. Sebastian Castro also competed in the singles bracket, when Quist and Ortega, plus Vetter and Lund-May perhaps, played in the doubles bracket to achieve postseason encounter.

Hagen, who’s a group captain, has the upperhand at playing the No. 1 singles spot following competing there final spring.

Johnson likes the versatility that Ortega, Vetter and Thedens bring to the group as he mentioned each and every can play either singles or doubles.

“We have a larger roster than final season, which is excellent to add some depth to the group,” Johnson mentioned. “We didn’t have a major roster final year, and that hurt us when we had some children miss with injuries and illness.

“We want to win, but did you get a small greater with just about every match and that is what we’re concerned with. We preach that just about every day we’re in practice or in a match.”

The 1st scheduled meet is Tuesday, April 11, at Worthington, followed by yet another away dual Friday, April 14, at Luverne. The Cardinals then play a tournament on Saturday, April 15, against Cotter, Luverne and the host Saints in St. James.

The Cardinals play their property opener Tuesday, April 18, against Pipestone Region.

“This is a excellent group of children,” Johnson mentioned. “They actually function difficult and we’re confident we will win much more matches than final season.

“We attempt not to consider about the score, but about what shot we’re going to hit and make that the very best shot. If they make it, excellent, but if they miss it, then they attempt to make the subsequent shot.”

The Cardinals are after once more in Section 2A and the 1st round is Thursday, May perhaps 18, at the larger seeded college.

The section semifinals and finals are Monday, May perhaps 22, at Gustavus Adolphus College. The section person tournament starts May perhaps 24 at GAC. The section person semifinals and finals are slated for May perhaps 25 at the similar web site.

Johnson mentioned some section favorites include things like Litchfield, St. Peter and Southwest Christian. He also cited strong teams coming from Waseca, Luverne and Blue Earth Region.

“They have traditionally fielded robust teams, but you never ever know what each and every year brings,” Johnson mentioned. “We’re aiming to do our very best each and every and just about every match, win or drop.”

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