The new-look Logansport Berries are playing on new-look tennis courts.
The LHS tennis courts were recently resurfaced which gives the team some extra shine. The courts are now colored blue in-bounds and light gray out of bounds.
“There are reasons why it’s the most common color,” Logan coach Adam Thompson explained of the blue and gray courts. “I think there’s ball visibility issues there. I think also this light gray will be a lot cooler than that dark red and dark green used to be when then the sun’s out.
“It’s just a resurfacing. The cracks have gotten to a point where you can catch your toe in it and get injured, and we had one bad court that was being damaged from the drainage off the hill there. It got worse faster than everything else. It was definitely time.”
Logansport athletic director Brian Strong said the resurfacing of the tennis courts cost just under $42,000 and was paid for with money from the agreement with Logansport Memorial Hospital.
“We were fortunate a few years ago to grow a relationship with Logansport Memorial Hospital and with that came an opportunity to rename the stadium and secure a large amount of funding to aid in supporting many programs at LCSC,” Strong said. “Those dollars were used to resurface our tennis courts. The tennis courts at LHS are open to the public year around. We are very thankful that we could do this much-needed maintenance to our courts for our tennis community and it was at no expense to the Logansport taxpayer.”
The Berries are coming off a 12-win season in which they won their 12th sectional title in the last 14 years.
But they lost their No. 1 singles player (David Meadows), No. 3 singles player (Derek Bergstedt) and a No. 2 doubles player (Brian Cole) to graduation.
Thompson added that baseball standout Mike Meadows, who would have been the Berries’ No. 1 singles player this year, is not playing tennis due to playing fall baseball.
“So we lost four,” Thompson said. “In addition to that, Kian Harris is out with a shoulder injury. We’re going to try to work him back in slowly near the end of the month. But he’ll probably miss several matches early on, hopefully be back and playing by NCC Tournament time. So we’ve lost four for sure and kind of lost five with that injury.”
Thompson said another baseball player, CJ Hallam, will likely move to the No. 1 singles spot.
“Kian Harris, once he’s back especially considering he has an injury, I’ll probably be putting him at doubles to only have him serving half the time,” Thompson said. “So he’ll probably be at doubles, have an anchor there for us. The rest of the team is very up in the open. We have Parker Wilburn who’s a senior, we have Sal Scagnoli who’s a junior, Ethan Denny who’s a junior, Gavin Smith, Caleb Crook and Noah Lange who are all sophomores. Noah Lange got varsity time last year so he got experience there, but a lot of new guys.”
Mike Meadows was the No. 2 singles player, Hallam and Harris were the No. 1 doubles duo and Lange was a freshman starter at No. 2 doubles team for last year’s Berries squad that reclaimed the sectional title and went 12-8.
“I think we’re less of a favorite than we were before,” Thompson said of the sectional field. “It’s going to be a lot closer, a lot more of a fight. I know the other teams have lost significant pieces as well, so it’ll probably be a close one.
“I didn’t intend on being in a rebuilding feel, but that’s kind of what it feels like. But it’s kind of exciting to be able to give so many sophomores varsity time this year. It’ll be a fun year.”
The Berries travel to Lewis Cass on Wednesday, Aug. 21 to open the season before hosting Triton on Monday, Aug. 26 for their home opener.
The Kings will also have a youthful group.
Cass coach Matt Hurst said challenge matches are ongoing until there are clear winners for the varsity spots.
The Kings have to replace No. 1 singles player Dixon Collins, who was an individual sectional champion, and No. 2 singles player Nate Jones, who went 15-2 a year ago. They also have to replace doubles players Tanner Bowser and Bailey Grisez to graduation.
They do return No. 3 singles player CJ Burrous, No. 1 doubles player Brent Johnson and No. 2 doubles player David Woolever from last year’s team that went 7-5.
“We also have last year’s JV No. 1 singles player, Jack Salyers, who will be moving up this year to varsity,” Hurst said. “So those challenge matches are deciding the last three varsity positions along with JV.
“We do have a lot of new players and as always, we're looking to work on our basic skills and improving our match play. We look at the season as a way to improve and move strong into sectionals. All of the guys have been working hard, pushing themselves and improving. They are a good group of guys to have on the courts.”
Cass opens the season on Wednesday, Aug. 21 against Logansport at the Stu Engle Courts in Walton.
“The courts are still holding up well and in good shape,” Hurst said.