Tennis teams mix youth and experience

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


The temperature may not be quite cooperating yet, but the 2018 Mt. Pleasant tennis season has officially started, with games scheduled for this week. Both the boys? and girls? teams were supposed to start on Tuesday but their opener was pushed back due to inclimate weather.

The Panther boys return four letterwinners this season: Ethan Weber, Corbin Broeker, Jaxon Hoyle and Elijah Plooster. Among the graduated seniors from last year was conference champion Ben Zihlman, meaning the number one spot will belong to someone new this season.

The Panthers tied Keokuk for the top spot in the Southeast Conference last season, and Coach Tyler Rodgers says they?d like to have that spot all to themselves this year.

Joining the four returners will be Donovan Arledge and Jack Schimmelpfennig. The Panthers hope the team will have enough depth to do really well at districts and Rodgers says there are state tournament possibilities this year.

The girls? team will have plenty of spots to fill, as Mt. Pleasant loses four starters from last year?s team. Coach Steve Scott says the team will be counting on a lot of newcomers to step up on varsity.

Quin Whaley, a senior who was the the team?s third singles player last year, will step up at the No. 1 spot this season. Erin Zihlman, a junior, is the team?s only returning letter winner. Shaleen Thiengmany is the only other player who received varsity time last year.

The last three spots will likely be filled by returning junior varsity players. Among those competing for the extra spots are juniors Hallie Sandeen and Breeana Runyon, senior Elle Larson and sophomore Sierra Barton.