Lewis Central junior Ethan Edwards and sophomore Payton Fort teamed together for a No. 3 doubles victory and picked up wins at No. 4 and No. 5 singles, respectively, on Thursday at home against Clarinda, but the Titans boys tennis team ended up losing 5-4.
Clarinda won at No. 1 through No. 3 singles and No. 1 and No. 2 doubles.
Despite the Titans taking the loss, head coach Chris Hanafan was still happy with his team’s performance.
“(Edwards and Fort) played well. They’re young kids,” he said of his team. “A lot of sophomores, one freshman and one junior. There’s a lot of inexperience. … Ethan and Payton played really well today in singles and doubles.”
Edwards won his singles match 8-1, Fort swept his opponent 8-0 and sophomore Drew White picked up a win at No. 6 singles winning 8-4. Edwards and Fort won 8-2 in doubles.
None of the top six for Lewis Central had played a varsity match before this season and five of the six are playing tennis for their first season.
Lewis Central picked up a victory in its season-opening dual against Thomas Jefferson winning 9-0.
Freshman Christian Jensen, sophomore Broedy Johnson, sophomore Ty Thompson, sophomore Dylan White and sophomore Colby Souther all won against T.J. along, with Edwards and Fort.
The Titans also swept all three doubles matches.
Hanafan is excited for the future and is focused on his players improving this season.
“They’ll keep playing, they’ll keep getting better and that’s what you want,” he said. “I think the ultimate goal for us this year is that we keep improving. We’re pretty young. We may take some lumps this year, but hopefully the kids keep playing throughout the summer and get better in the next year or two.
“I think any inexperienced team, or a coach who has an inexperienced team, the best thing that can happen is they just keep getting better and win or lose they learn the game a little bit and prepare themselves for further down the road.”
Lewis Central is in action next at 4 p.m. on April 13 at Harlan.
“They’re a young, inexperienced group that in the long run could be pretty good as long as they keep playing,” Hanafan said. “It may not be this year but it could be next year.
“The main thing is, the kids I have out are really good kids and they’re fun to be around.”