Truckee boys tennis fall preview: New coach, same goal
Sierra Sun sports editor
For a Truckee High School tennis program that has been stifled by inconsistent coaching tenures, newly hired teacher and boys tennis coach Jim Jackson may provide an enduring solution.
“It’s (been) a volunteer job,” said Martha Lyle, who will co-coach the boys team with Jackson.
Lyle, whose daughter Andrea Roegiers is a senior on the girls team, has spent time around the tennis program for the last four seasons. She said the coaching position for both programs been a case of parents filling the position just so their son or daughter could get a season in.
“When they’re kids graduate, they hand it off to another parent,” said Lyle, who has been playing competitive tennis since college. “Now we have a teacher here, so maybe it will carry on.”
Jackson replaces former boys coach Rod Miller, who only coached the program one year. Jackson was a teacher for 11 years at North Tahoe High School, where he also coached girls and boys golf. He did not coach tennis at North Tahoe, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t think about it.
“I kept threatening to go out and play with the kids, but I was busy hitting golf balls,” he said.
Although Jackson may be more of a golf enthusiast, he is not void of tennis experience.
“I grew up in La hoya, Calif., which is kind of a hotbed of tennis and played virtually every day from seventh grade through 12th grade,” he said. “It kind of brings back my old high school days. It’s been a kick.”
Jackson said he denied a scholarship to play tennis at Georgia Tech, instead choosing to attend UCLA. Jackson’s skills weren’t sharp enough to play competitively there.
“Jimmy Connors was there, so you had to be pretty good to play at UCLA, so I became a spectator,” he said.
Jackson hasn’t been the Truckee coach long, so he hasn’t been able to spend much time with his new team. But he likes what he sees.
“I think they’re pretty good,” he said, “especially considering just as they get good, the snow comes and your season’s over. To retain those skills over the winter is a good trick. I was really surprised at how well they do play.”
Luckily for Jackson, he takes over a team that is deep in tennis experience and coming off a season in which it finished third in the 4A High Desert League with a 6-2 record, earning Truckee a playoff berth.
Truckee went on to lose 36-9 to Manogue (No. 2, Sierra League) in the first match of the NIAA Northern Region tournament. Manogue moves to the High Desert this year, and there will be plenty of Truckee players back to try to redeem the playoff loss when Truckee hosts Manogue in the regular season on Sept. 28.
Seven out of 13 players on the Truckee roster are seniors going into at least their third year of high school tennis.
Senior Kaya Lampe is the top singles player on the Wolverines and has gone 5-1 so far in 2004. Along with Lampe, fellow seniors J.J. Besio and Greg Beno will provide a solid foundation for Truckee in singles matches this year.
Seniors Court Hickman, Seamus Breen, Evan Carroll and Wes Hollabaugh, along with junior Gabe Cooper, will provide the nucleus in doubles competition. The combo of Hickman and Cooper have yet to lose in 2004.
Lyle said the players practice over summer to make sure their skills are honed to start the fall season.
“They’re always out playing amongst themselves, so we should do well this year,” she said.
In high school, each school chooses three singles players and three doubles pairs to play in each scheduled event. Schools get one point for a singles victory and two for a doubles victory to determine the winner of the overall match.
Jackson described Galena as the perennial powerhouse in the High Desert 4A Northern Region. Truckee finished third behind McQueen and Galena in 2003. Bonanza has won the last three 4A state titles.
Truckee is forced to compete with 4A teams because there are not enough 3A schools that have tennis programs.
However Truckee boys tennis finishes this year, which looks promising, they would consider it a victory if Jackson was back with the team in 2005. At least Jackson is thinking ahead.
“I just moved into the school today,” said Jackson recently. “The next time I move, I’m retiring. It’d be nice to get (the next season) going in May or June, so we know what we got.”
Day Date Opponent Site Time/result
Tues. Aug. 31 Carson *Truckee (W, 28-17)
Thurs. Sept. 2 Incline Truckee (W, 25-20)
Tues. Sept. 7 Fallon Fallon (W, 39-6)
Thurs. Sept. 9 Spanish Springs Spanish Springs 3 p.m.
Tues. Sept. 14 Damonte Ranch Damonte Ranch 3 p.m.
Thurs. Sept. 16 McQueen McQueen 3 p.m.
Tues. Sept. 21 Galena Galena 3 p.m.
Thurs. Sept. 23 Reed Truckee 3 p.m.
Tues. Sept. 28 Manogue Truckee 3 p.m.
Mon. Oct. 4 Rite of Passage Truckee 3 p.m.
Oct. 9-16 4A regionals
Oct. 21-23 4A state championship
* home matches at Tahoe Donner Tennis Club
By Thomas Ranson
Sun News Service
Crossing the state border into the dry and unusual September heat didn’t have any effect on the Truckee boys tennis team as the Wolverines easily dominated Fallon, 39-6, Tuesday afternoon (Sept. 7) in Fallon.
Truckee improves to 3-0, 2-0 in league, and Fallon drops to 0-2.
Along with Truckee’s three doubles teams, Kaya Lampe cruised past Fallon’s singles competition. Lampe defeated Fallon’s B.J. O’Toole, 6-1; Max Tschannen, 6-0, and David Ranson, 6-0.
Greg Beno outlasted Ranson in a first round marathon as Beno came back from a 5-2 deficit to win in the tiebreaker, 8-6.
Beno also won in the third round, 6-0. Danny Kruck picked up a 6-3 win in the first round.
Wes Hollabaugh and J.J. Besio also seemed perfect in doubles
competition by posting victories of 6-1, 6-0 and 6-0.
Seamus Breen and Evan Carroll won their three sets at 6-0, 6-2 and 6-0 while the tandem of Gabe Cooper and Court Hickman won their sets identically at 6-1.
For Fallon, O’Toole picked up two victories of 6-3 and 6-1, and Ranson closed out Fallon’s scoring with a 6-3 second round win.