Coach: Brad Moore (fourth year)
Key returners: Ben Fountain, jr.; Anthony Anderson, sr.; Logan Hilyer, jr.; Bridger Wakely, soph.; Hayden Long, jr.
Key newcomers: Matthew Rutz, fr.; William Waldrop, soph.; John Collins, jr.; Colin Bunker, jr.
Outlook: The Seahawks have had a large turnout with nearly 50 players in the program.
But they were hit hard by graduation, leaving them with one senior this season.
“We will be very young compared to the rest of the league,” Moore said.
But the youth — and the turnout Moore said is the largest in the history of the program — is cause of optimism.
“We do have a great core of young players that are committed and work very well together,” Moore said. “I am so excited to see them grow and develop throughout the year.”
Coach: Ryan Wallace (seventh year)
Key returners: Donovan Hendrickson, soph., singles; Conrad Brown, jr., singles; Caleb Cox, soph., singles; Erik Altenhofen, sr., doubles; Andrew Henry, sr., doubles; Josh Fox, singles; jr., Cobe Betz, soph., singles.
Key newcomers: Owen Drayer, sr., doubles; Nathan Van Beek, sr., doubles; Gavin Baker, jr., doubles; Ian Miller, jr., doubles; Brennan MacKay, soph., doubles; Ashton Kaopua, soph., doubles; Payson Atkinson, fr., singles/doubles; Ian Powers, fr., singles; Charlie King., fr., singles/doubles; L.J. DeGloria, jr., doubles; P.J. Zaremba, sr., doubles.
Outlook: Wallace said there are plenty of players ready to go this season.
“This is the biggest varsity team I’ve had. The reason is to let some of these players compete,” Wallace said of keeping a large varsity squad. “The competition at practice is some of the highest I’ve seen. It’s fun to see the friendly rivalries, to see the team grow.”
He said the five seniors will step into leadership roles. The younger players, he said, will improve as the season goes on.
“There are strengths that will show when we get deeper in the season,” Wallace said.
Mount Vernon Bulldogs
Coach: Jeff Leer (fourth year)
Conference: Western 4A
Key returners: Kyle Cooley, sr., singles; Sky Johnson, sr., doubles; Parker Saban, sr., singles; Spencer Dutton, sr., doubles; Kyle Wolden, sr., doubles; Sam Nelson, sr., doubles/singles.
Key newcomers: Liam Johnston, jr., singles; Cody Shackleton, soph., singles.
Outlook: Mount Vernon coach Jeff Leer said this year’s young team is raring to go.
“We lost some quality athletes from last year and we’re young, but we’ll be able to compete as well as last year,” he said.
He said Johnston improved dramatically over the summer and has nabbed the No. 2 singles spot.
“He’s really stepped it up,” Leer said.
He said he’s also looking forward to the play of Shackleton, a sophomore.
Coach: Joel Howard (fourth year)
Key returners: Dylan Scheib, sr., singles/doubles; Anthony Zitkovich, sr., singles/doubles; Mitchell Wolkenhauer, sr., singles/doubles; Kai Greenough, jr., doubles; Josiah Vellegas, jr., doubles; Shawn Froneberger, jr., doubles.
Key newcomers: Colby Dills, sr.; Leslie Hastings, jr., Cole Prestmo, jr.; Jacob Jepperson, soph.; Nathan Thornbrough, soph.; Koe Greenough, fr.
Outlook: The Cubs have a three returning seniors to go along with three returning juniors. That experience level has Howard feeling optimistic.
“We are excited about this season,” he said. “All three seniors can play singles and doubles well. The three returning juniors all excel at doubles.”
The team will look to battle it out not only with squads from the Skagit Valley, but from Whatcom County as well.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how our new players do this season,” Howard said. “I was pleased by what I saw in our players as they competed in their first match of the season.”
— Skagit Valley Herald staff