The Rigby tennis team has several talented players including junior Bridger Oswald, who are winning individual matches, but so far they haven’t had the depth to win as a team.
“Compared to other 5A schools we have a very weak team,” said coach Katherine Neville.
Last year’s team was pretty competitive, but Rigby lost 10 seniors to graduation and only have two seniors this year. They also have a lot of beginners.
“It’s just a new team. The more you play the more experience you will get,” Neville said. “But the kids love it. It’s an uplifting group. And it’s fun to see it grow.”
When Neville started coaching four years ago, the team had nine boys and nine girls. This year they had 40 athletes stick with it.
“We had the biggest turnout this year. And those who play usually come back and play again,” she said.
Oswald, Joey Summers and Kaelynn Chandler all have a chance to go to state.
“Those three show promise and have the potential,” she said.
Oswald has been a singles player, but might play boy’s doubles or mixed doubles for a better chance to go to state.
Other promising athletes and possibilities include Tagg Olaveson and Ross Myers for boys, and Marissa Neville and Lexie Scott for the girls.
“We have great kids,” said Rene Shirley, Rigby’s assistant coach. “Some of our kids started last year or this year and they are doing great—at least at the JV level. There are just super good players (among the competition).”
She said its unfortunate that Rigby is a 5A school. The area has experienced a lot of growth and people moving to the area—just not a lot of tennis players.
But she has seen a huge improvement.
Still, Neville has been pushing for the athletes to practice on the off-season or learn to play during the off-season.
“There’s just really good teams from around the state and we haven’t beat any of them,” “Shirley said. “We have a couple of good players, but Madison, Hillcrest, and other schools—their players are just awesome. We are lucky to win a match against some of the schools.”
“We just want to have fun,” Shirley said.
Neither West Jefferson nor Ririe high schools have a tennis team this year.