Summerville’s tennis season started with an 8-1 win over Linden High School.
While the first match avoided a rain-out, assistant coach Jim Epperly says the Bears may not be so lucky as the season progresses.
Rain is in the forecast for the next week, which may interfere with the next Mother Lode League match against Sonora High School.
Kennedy Brockett, who won last year’s Mother Lode League singles title, picked up where she left off with a 6-0, 6-0 win in No. 1 girls singles.
“It was a stellar start to the season,” said Epperly.
Chloe Johnson also picked up a win in the No. 2 girls singles, 2-6, 7-5 and 13-11.
Sam Grider won 6-3, 6-0 in boys No. 1 singles.
In the No. 2 boys singles, Martin Kokabet won 6-0, 6-1.
The Bears’ Evan Zukal and Hunter Anderson won 6-0, 6-1 in boys doubles.
Jen Oellricht and Julie Torrez picked up a strong win, going 6-2 6-2 in girls doubles.
And in mixed doubles, Forrest Marrion and Delaney Schneider won 6-0, 6-1.
Neither team has had a lot of time to practice because of recent snow and rain, said Epperly.
“For our first outing it’s probably pretty good, about what was to be expected,” he said.
Epperly has been either a volunteer tennis coach or an assistant since his children were on the team more than 10 years ago.
He started volunteering after noticing there was one coach for several dozen athletes.
“I’m good at crowd control, and I can run a machine,” he said.
This year he’s the assistant to head coach Leonard Mauro.
The coed roster includes 32 and is an even mix of boys and girls.
The teams typically play two matches a week.
Among this year’s challenging opponents will be Argonaut.
“Argonaut is pretty good,” said Epperly, “They have a really nice feeder program.”
Sonora will also be a tough matchup as will Amador, he said.
Epperly has coached football, soccer, softball and basketball at Summerville.
But tennis offers a different set of challenges for student athletes.
“Tennis is kind of tough, it’s a tough game to master,” he said.
It’s not the kind of sport you can find quick — or easy — success in either.
You’ve got to put in the work.
“If you love hitting the ball, and you just love to play, you’ll put that effort in,” he said.
And the work will pay off long after high school.
“Tennis can be a lifetime sport,” he said.
Thursday the Bears will travel to Columbia College for a match against Sonora at 3 p.m. match, weather permitting.