The Viroqua High School boys tennis team will have its first tennis conference this season. Teams include Black River Falls, Mauston and West Salem
“Black River Falls is the favorite to win the conference,” coach Layne Hanson said.
Hanson, who has coached for 21 years, said this year’s team is athletic, “with a good amount of experience returning.”
Top players (all of whom are juniors) Mitchell Hanson, James Hopkins and Jared Anderson are all two-time returning letter winners, and will likely make up the No. 1 positions on the team, Hanson said. Seniors Lucas Oldham and Tony Garvalia, and sophomore Ben Gillen also return as letter winners from last season.
“We lost our No. 1 singles player and No. 1 doubles team, so our younger returning players will need to step up and fill those key roles,” Hanson said.
Those key positions lost to 2018 graduates include Ben Tunks who was the No. 1 singles player last year, and Nathan Tunks and Tanner Wileman who made up the No. 1 doubles team.
The team’s athleticism is a strength Hanson said.
“This is one of the most athletic teams we’ve had in several years. They are also great competitors that push each other in practice.”
Hanson said a challenge this season is that the inexperienced players will need to learn quickly to fill the varsity team.
The longtime coach said he encourages the team to always have fun but play hard. “We want to be playing our best tennis at the end of the season.