Tooele High School tennis coach Lyle Nielson was impressed with how much his second doubles team improved throughout the season.
“Carsen Brewerton only started playing tennis his senior year, and I was amazed out how fast he improved as the season progressed. He’s quite athletic, and got it going late in the year,” Nielson said.
The No. 2 doubles team of Brewerton and Josh Orton was inexperienced and didn’t win a match throughout the regular season.
The pair started to find their game as the season wound down. They finally won a match against Ben Lomond at the region tournament which earned them one match at the state tournament.
“I think Carsen played baseball for a couple of years before coming out for tennis his senior year. I told him how much better of a player he would have been had he not started with tennis even back as a sophomore,” the coach said.
Coaches Nielson and Terry Weddle will attempt to find a few young tennis players from the Tooele area this week who will stick with the game for a few years and make an impact on the high school team.
A summer tennis camp will run Tuesday through Friday this week at the THS courts for girls and boys in grades second through ninth.
Kids in grades second through fifth will play from 8-10 a.m. with the older players on the courts from 10 a.m. until noon on those four days.
Many players already have signed up for the camp, but the coaches said others can join them throughout the week. Cost is $30.
Current high school players and the two coaches will help with the instruction.
“We’ll teach footwork, forehand, backhand, hand-eye coordination and tennis fundamentals,” Nielson said.
“This is the third year we have held the clinic. It gives us a chance to teach basics and also hopefully spark an interest in tennis so some will want to improve and become more competitive.”
Nielson said he and Weddle also plan to teach lessons on Tuesdays and Wednesday throughout June and July.
“This camp is a fund-raiser for our tennis program and helps to pay for uniforms and equipment,” the coach said.
“We want to provide different levels of tennis. With the high school team we have those who basically come out and play recreationally and enjoy the game which is good. For some it’s their only involvement in sports. Some may want to take it further and work to become competitive and play the game year-round,” Nielson said.
High school tennis teams nowadays usually allow anyone to be on the team — there are no cuts.
“It’s been frustrating that our high school players don’t win more matches. I’ll see them hitting in practice and they look good, but can’t quite get it together playing a match,” Nielson said.
Tooele did make progress with first singles player Ivan Gonzales reaching the state tournament, along with third singles player Jacob Nielson. They are both juniors and will return next year.
Perhaps coaches will also find a future THS tennis star at this week’s camp