• 59°

Tiger tennis opens at Paul Bryant

The Demopolis High tennis team will open its season today on the road against Paul Bryant. The match will mark the squad’s first under the guidance of new coach Kyle Williams, who comes over to the team after assisting with softball in previous years.

Williams said he was initially surprised by the number of players on the roster who are involved with other sports and extracirricular activities.

“We’ve got so many out here who do more than tennis,” Williams said. “I think it helps them a lot because they are staying busy and it helps them not to lose focus on the big picture.”

Tiger tennis returns a number of faces from last season’s squad, but also has more than its share of vacancies.

“We’ve got some holes to fill in girls,” Williams said. “We are young.” Of the 12 girls on the squad, Demopolis figures to get key contributions from returning players Sidney Hill, Sarah Martin Stapp, Tera Schroeder and Shamoneka Collins in addition to the quality matches it hopes to get from a number of new faces.

On the boys side, the Tigers return Walker McNeill, Neilsen Renner, Logan Boone and Trent Blackwood as the primary names among a field of nine players.

Williams said one of his focuses as a coach is making sure the players are conditioned enough for the matches they will endure.

“We have certain drills everyday,” Williams said. “Everything we do, they have their racket in their hands. We condition four to five times every practice.”

Demopolis plays at Paul Bryant today at 3:30 p.m.