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Tennis team prepares for competitive season ahead

With the spring season upon us, the Lennox High School tennis team, led by head coach Kevin Plank, is gearing up for what promises to be an exciting season. 

Coach Plank, who is entering his seventh year as head coach, looks back on last season with pride, highlighting the team’s impressive second place finish in Class A, it’s best finish in the history of the sport at LHS. Individual achievements were also plentiful, with standout performances from Jaxon Plank who clinched the state championship at Flight #1, while Cody Plank secured fourth place at Flight #2. Andrew Daugherty captured second place at Flight #3, with Gunnar Gieken claiming third place at Flight #4. Eli Plank and Noah Welch rounded out the individual achievements, placing third and sixth, respectively, at Flight #5 and Flight #6. In doubles, the dynamic duo of J. Plank and C. Plank secured second place at Flight #1, while Daugherty and E. Plank took second at Flight #2 doubles. Gieken and Welch showcased their teamwork, clinching fourth place at Flight #3 doubles.                                                                                                

However, with the departure of key players due to graduation the team faces the challenge of filling significant voids.

“It will be hard to replace the all-time wins leader and state champion, Jaxon Plank, and the other senior leadership of Andrew Daugherty,” said Coach Plank. “But fortunately, the team will have experienced players from last year’s varsity team trying to fill those voids, which includes Cody Plank, Gunnar Gieken, Eli Plank, and Noah Welch.”

Despite these changes, Coach Plank remains optimistic about the team’s prospects, citing experience and maturity as key strengths. The Orioles return six of the eight varsity players from last year. 

Coach Plank acknowledges a potential concern regarding depth in the varsity lineup but expresses confidence that the team’s overall experience will compensate for any shortcomings.

Looking ahead, Coach Plank identifies Sioux Falls Christian as a formidable opponent, particularly with the addition of a new standout player stepping in at the #1 singles and doubles spot, making their already strong team even deeper. Rapid City Christian is also expected to present strong competition. Additionally, perennial contenders like Huron and Madison are anticipated to challenge Lennox’s quest for success.

“Huron always fields a strong team that competes really well and I know Madison has some boys that put in some practice time in the offseason, and there is usually a surprise team too that shows up every season,” said Coach Plank. 

One match-up to watch is the upcoming clash against Sioux Falls Christian on Monday, April 15th, a test for Lennox early in the season. 

Coach Plank emphasizes the importance of embracing competition and is eager for the season to begin.

“I’m excited for the competition to get started.  We’ll have some tough competition, but I hope our experience will carry us into a successful season,” said Coach Plank. “Our first match is on April 15th in Sioux Falls at Tomar Park verses Mitchell and Sioux Falls Christian and wraps up with the state tournament in Rapid City on May 13th - 14th.”

As the team prepares to hit the courts, Coach Plank expresses confidence in the players’ abilities and their potential for growth throughout the season. With a roster boasting a mix of returning starters and promising newcomers, the LHS tennis team is poised for success. 

The team roster includes the following athletes: Returning varsity — Gunnar Geiken, Cody Plank, Eli Plank, Pierce Temme, Mitch Van Meeteren, and Noah Welch; along with Ryan Benning, Carter Beringer, Ben Birk, Owen Boomgarden, Zach Boysen, Palmer Brue, Grant Buhta, Noah Buhta, Wyatt Crichton, Davin Cwach, Wesley Decker, Matthew Dummer, Chase Gervais, Chase Hazuka, Alex Heibult, Wyatt Holland, Will Hoppe, Maverick Horst, Cameron Keatley, Atticus Larson, Chase Lundquist, Bryson McDaniel, Trenton McDaniel, Jan Montero, Kodi Scott, Connor Sherard, Cameron Smith, Cian Smith, Kelton Smith, Klayton Thoreson, and Easton Timmermans.


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