Monday, September 22, 2014

OHS tennis coach Sparks has building blocks

By The Herald Staff | 3/28/2014

First-year Ottawa High School boys tennis coach Eric Sparks has some building blocks for his first team.

Seniors Jonathan Kuczmarski and Vince Sylvester qualified for state in singles last year with Kuczmarski taking 11th.

First-year Ottawa High School boys tennis coach Eric Sparks has some building blocks for his first team.

Seniors Jonathan Kuczmarski and Vince Sylvester qualified for state in singles last year with Kuczmarski taking 11th.

“There is a lot of potential,” Sparks said. “We have some returning varsity that did well last year. It is coming together nicely.”

Kuczmarski and Sylvester expect to man the singles with Lawrence transfer Kley Boliver heading up the doubles teams.

Sparks said Boliver played varsity last year for the 6A Lions.

“He is showing a lot of potential,” Sparks said.

Kuczmarski continues to show strong ground strokes that led him to placing at state last season.

“Jonathan is a very consistent player,” Sparks said. “I don’t see a weakness as far as his strokes.”

The other spots are up for grabs and could be interchangeable throughout the season.

“We have some good servers,” Sparks said. “The backhand is probably the weakness with most of them. They are all hitting before practice. Some hit an hour after practice. The motivation is far higher than I thought it would be.

“I know a lot them did not start playing tennis until high school. I am trying to work with each of them and teach them all. They have the potential and athletic ability.”

Ottawa opens Tuesday at Emporia.

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