Boys varsity tennis has standout season, finishes second in the conference


An eleventh-place finish at the State Tournament and a second-place finish in the OK White conference resulted in a successful season for the boys varsity tennis team.

The season went well and I’m pleased with the results,” head coach Dan Bolhouse said. “We had seven first-year varsity players in the lineup and they all worked hard to improve.”

With a rocky start in the beginning of the season against the Forest Hills Northern Huskies, the Rangers were able to turn their season around in the FHC/FHN Quad. The boys played some tough teams and this was the first tournament where FHC was truly able to come together and become a united team.

After placing second in the FHC/FHN Quad, the Rangers were able to have a solid season, winning a good minority of their matches 9-0. They beat Cedar Springs, Ottawa Hills, and Greenville 9-0. FHC also had some close games that resulted in junior Nick Sjolin, which is one single, stepping up and becoming a leader for the team and encouraging the team during the hard matches.

“Nick was a great leader on and off the court,” sophomore Ben Koning said. “He was very humble and mature throughout the season, which helped tame some of the younger players on the team; he knew how to control us when the team needed him to.”

Throughout the season, the younger players stepped up in their playing. Sophomores Chris Battiste and Jeremy James performed exceptionally well throughout the season. With this being Jeremy’s first year on varsity, he was able to accept the challenge and dominate in the majority of his matches. Chris was able to use varsity experience to set a great example for the newcomers on the team. He showed an exceptional image for the rest of the team to follow.

“Chris was a role model,” Ben said. “He always had the right attitude and mindset going in and out of a game, which helped us in the tougher battles.”

Despite a rough start to the season, the Rangers were able to have a successful OK White conference record of 5-1, only losing to FHN in their first conference match. The boys played with sheer grit and were able to achieve their main goal that was set at the beginning of the season.

I am just so proud of how the team came together,” Chris said. “We started off the season slow and then came together in the end with the help of our captain. We were also able to achieve our goal of [going to] States, and it felt awesome because all of the hard work paid off.”

FHC will be losing three players due to graduation; however, there is plenty of returning talent. Chris and Nick, and the rest of the varsity team will carry the team, as the Rangers hope for another strong 2019 season. The team is going to continue to work hard in the offseason, so they can have the best outcome for the next season.

We need to continue to play matches and prepare for the grind of the season,” Bolhouse said. “All the boys need to continue hitting and match play in order for our team to be as good as possible in 2019.”