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LHS tennis team brings back key players that look to make run at State

Despite snow still on the ground, the Lennox High School boys tennis team is gearing up for an exciting season under the direction of Head Coach Kevin Plank. With six years of experience as head coach, fifth year as boys due to Covid, Coach Plank is ready to lead his team to success.

Last season, the LHS boys tennis team finished with a record of 5-7 and placed sixth at State. This year, they are hoping to improve their record and make a deeper run at the state tournament.

“We only lost one varsity player, Dason Wilson and one JV player, Xavier Larson, so we are bringing back a bunch of experienced players this year,” said Plank.

The team is bringing back several key players, including senior Jaxon Plank, who placed third at state in 2022 in flight #1 singles and doubles, and senior Andrew Daugherty, who placed fourth at flight #2 singles and third at flight #1 doubles. Juniors Cody Plank and Gunnar Geiken, and eighth grader Eli Plank also have varsity experience and will be returning.

“Our experience and leadership should be our strength this year,” said Coach Plank. “And most of the returning players put in a lot of time in the offseason, so their games have improved tremendously.”

However, the team’s depth may be an area of concern. While the players who will be at the bottom of the varsity line up have some experience, they don’t have a lot of varsity experience. Also challenging will be the number of players out and the practice facilities available to the team.

“I have 36 boys out this spring, which is awesome, but can also be a challenge with only two tennis courts,” said Coach Plank. “But we are excited about our team as a whole this year and our potential.”

On the roster for the Orioles this season will be seniors Daugherty, Camden Faulds, J. Plank; juniors Ryan Benning, Ben Birk, Wesley Decker, Lincoln Ford, Geiken, Alex Heibult, Gabriel Irwin, Ethan Lundquist, C. Plank, Cian Smith, Pierce Temme, Will Hoppe, Mitch VanMeeteren, Noah Welch; sophomores Owen Boomgarden, Palmer Brue, Maverick Horst, Cameron Keatley, Atticus Larson, Connor Sherard, Cade Sherard; freshmen Jacob McMath, Riley Nelson; eighth graders Matthew Dummer, Wyatt Holland, Brennen Buffer, Chase Lundquist, E. Plank, Cameron Smith; seventh graders Carter Beringer, Chase Gervais, Easten Timmermans, Davin Cwach, and Grant Buhta.

Assisting Plank this season will be Trey Manitz.

Plank looks for Rapid City Christian, who won state last year and has the whole team returning for this year, to be the team to beat in 2023. However, there are several other teams that will be competing for a top position, and Plank looks for Sioux Falls Christian, Huron, and Pierre to also be competition this season.

Overall, Coach Plank is excited about the Orioles’ potential this year.

“We have a lot of young players that are eager to learn and improve,” said Coach Plank. “And as for the varsity team, if we perform and compete like we can, we should be competing for a top four spot at state.”

The LHS tennis season is set to get underway on April 17 when the team travels to Mitchell. The 2023 State Meet is scheduled for May 15 and 16 in Sioux Falls.


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