GLEN ROSE – By the time Thursday's newspaper hits the stands – or maybe even its first front-door step – the 2016 Glen Rose tennis season will be in full swing.
Third-year Glen Rose Head Coach Gregger Yeager, along with 12 Tigers and Lady Tigers, will depart Glen Rose High School at 6 a.m. on Thursday morning for Corsicana High School’s Winter Blast tournament.
Yeager is returning six players from last year’s team and has two newcomers he is projecting to have a large impact on the team’s success.
On the boys’ side, Austin Mullis, Josue Guia and Diego Ruiz are all returning lettermen and will be joined by newcomer Harrison Hawkins.
Guia and Mullins will pair together for the first time in boys’ doubles.
“Josue has worked hard this offseason and has a serve that is pretty good if it is consistent,” Yeager said. “Austin has a lot of experience, but the challenge for him is going to be that he has only ever played mixed doubles and is now stepping into boys’ doubles.”
Hawkins, a freshman transfer from Plano who also competes in USTA tournaments during the offseason, and Ruiz will assume the roles of the Tigers’ No. 1 and No. 2 in the singles format, respectively.
“The game of singles, since there is no one to rely on, is both a physical and mental battle,” Yeager said. “It takes a special kid to be able to handle both on the tennis court.”
Returning fellow letterman, Grace Morris and newcomer to the varsity, Annie Bryant will join sisters Sophie and Emma Bozarth on the Lady Tigers’ team.
Sophie, the eldest Bozarth and junior in the classroom, is the lone returning 11-3A All-District recipient on either of Yeager’s two teams. She will take her two years of varsity experience and partner with Morris in girls’ doubles for most tournaments.
“Both girls have played a mix of events before, but have never played together,” Yeager said, “so with Sophie and Grace being my top two this year, the only challenge for them will be learning to adjust to playing with someone new.”
Sophomores E. Bozarth and Bryant are Yeager’s two fiery sleepers.
“Emma and Annie are small, but they are very, very tenacious,” Yeager said. “They both genuinely enjoy the sport and want to win, which makes them extremely coachable.”
Thursday’s tournament is allowing for Yeager to enter an extra team into each of the boys’ and girls’ doubles, boys’ and girls’ singles, and mixed doubles events, which the coach said would obviously be beneficial in the long run.
“My goal is always to get someone out of district and to continue to place in district,” said Yeager of his goals for this year’s team. “Maybe we can even pick up a few medals along the way.”
A recap of Thursday’s season opening tournament will be online at yourglenrosetx.com following the conclusion of play.