Shire tennis squads return to action

HOULTON, Maine — The boys and girls tennis teams for Houlton have yet to see any time on their outdoor courts, but that has not dampened their spirits for the start of a new season.

Houlton’s squads once again will share a single coach as Nancy Mooers returns for her second full season working with both the Shire boys and girls.

The coach said she was excited for the new season, but knows she has some spots to fill in her lineups due to losses from graduation.

The Houlton girls have qualified for postseason play for two straight years, and coach Mooers said she hopes to continue that trend this spring. The Shires finished 5-7 in the regular season, earning the No. 6 seed in Class C north. Houlton beat No. 11 Madawaska 3-2 in a prelim, but fell to No. 3 Orono 5-0 in the quarterfinals.

The Shire boys finished 2-10 and did not qualify for the postseason.

The girls roster features senior Rebecca Mooers, the coach’s daughter, as the team’s top singles player. She is a four-year tennis player and held the tough No. 1 singles spot last year as well.

Sophomores Sydney Lorom and Maddie Grant also are returning singles players who will challenge each other for the No. 2 and No. 3 spots in the rotation. Sophomore Grace Johnson and senior Emily Miller return as a doubles team, taking over the first doubles spot from Nadja Messerschmidt and Tessa McCormick, who graduated.

Three freshmen —  Morgan Graham, Reagan Perfitt and Dina Koretsky — will compete for spots at second doubles.

For the boys team, junior Nolan Porter will fill the top singles spot to begin the season. The boys spots are more in flux as the team has returning seniors Justin Hogan, Tim Youngfellow and Devin Ivey; sophomores Jaron Gentle, Isaac Vega, Nolan Jacobs and Nate DeLucca all back this season. Several new players also have joined the team as senior Jeremy Cook and juniors  Ben Grant and Zach Koretsky have signed on to play.

Coach Mooers will need to find someone to fill the No. 2 singles spot vacated by Owen Gallop, who graduated last spring.

Getting time outside has proved challenging, the coach said. Last season, the school’s outdoor courts located at both Houlton Community Park and the Houlton Recreation Department, were free of snow by spring vacation. The same cannot be said this year, as access to the courts, particularly at the park, has been difficult.

Houlton is tentatively slated to open its season Monday, April 23, hosting Caribou at 4 p.m.

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