Yellowjackets must replace core group from 2020
Coach watching to see which young players step up.
There are opportunities for girls on the Perham-New York Mills to take their shots this fall after graduating a strong core of seniors from the 2020 team.
Jameson Miller, Perham girl's tennis coach, said he was encouraged by the number of girls who showed up to voluntary workouts over the summer, which shows dedication and pride going into the new season.
"We moved up to 8AA … but we still want the same core principles that we have, you're working hard, you're aggressive, you make good mistakes … be confident in your ability and sometimes there are better players on the other side and sometimes you are the better player, we should still have the same mindset every time we step onto the court," said Miller. "It's very exciting to watch (the new team) now take that next step to, kind of, follow in the footsteps of people that were their role models and now it's their turn to be the role models to the younger girls."
He said he's looking forward to see who steps up on the team to fill the leadership void vacated by the departing seniors from last season.
"It's always tough when you lose a lot of seniors … but, now, with the new faces you get to build new relationships with them and that's very important in team sports," said Miller. "We've got a great group of girls, good tennis players, but better people and I think they get along very well, at least that's what we hope for."
Mallory Belka is a senior who has experience playing singles for the Yellowjackets.
When describing the challenges in jumping up to playing high school tennis, freshman Cate Diggins, who was playing doubles early on, said, "It's a lot at the net, it's a lot harder and faster, but experience will come with more games."
Yellowjacket doubles partners, Trinity Covington and Eva Vorderbruggen, said they are both trying to adjust to the new level of competition from not being on varsity last year to being second-doubles in an early invitational match.
"I'm looking forward to getting a lot more matches in, which we're already doing," said Covington.
"I'm working on my serves and getting better at the net, that's a number one priority," said Vorderbruggen. "Just, overall, getting better at practice and then on the court too, when we're playing games."