Improvement, development keys for Rams

By Jim Fuller jfuller@civitasmedia.com

March 14, 2014

BOONVILLE — The 2014 season at Starmount isn’t about winning championships or even winning matches necessarily.

“I just want these kids to improve,” Starmount Coach Ryan Newman said. “I want my new players to develop into good tennis players by the end of the year.”

Hard-hitting junior Nick Worley is the Rams’ No. 1 this season; senior Jonathan Allison is No. 2; and junior Josh Tucker is No. 3.

This is only Allison’s second season playing tennis at Starmount. “For him to be able to be the No. 2 player after two seasons is pretty special,” Newman said. “In his short time, he has become a very good tennis player.”

Senior Shane Herko is Newman’s only fourth-year player. “He has really developed and gotten better over his four years,” Newman said. “And he’s developed as a leader.

“Even though he’s No. 4, he’s still looked at as the most experienced player. He’s the one I depend on for helping out and getting ready for matches.”

While the first five spots in the lineup are pretty well set, the six through eight spots will be “a revolving door,” Newman said.

The Rams have only eight players. Newman said he’d like to have more and thinks working with the middle school might bring a few more players and provide more depth.

The Rams, 1-3, are at West Wilkes Tuesday and at Ashe County Thursday. Their next home match is March 25 with Elkin.

Starmount tennis at a glance

Coach: Ryan Newman, 6th year

Conference: Mountain Valley Athletic

Class: 1A

Last Year’s Record: 4-12, no playoffs

Returnees: Nick Worley, No. 1, Jr.; Jonathan Allison, No. 2, Sr.; Josh Tucker, No. 3, Jr.; Shane Herko, No. 4, Sr.

Newcomers: Levi Myers, No. 5, So.; Avery Stanley, Fr.; Jack Dickerson, So.; Jacob Gwyn, Fr.

Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @elkinareasports.