Truckee boys tennis solid across board
The strength of the Truckee High boys tennis team is that there are no weaknesses, according to its coach.
“There are no real extremes,” said Jim Jackson, describing his team as a whole.
“There are no stars this year, but everybody has gotten better. We got a real good group of kids.”
With the Wolverines losing last season’s standout senior Nic Hofer ” a foreign exchange student from Switzerland ” to graduation, the squad is more even across the board, Jackson said.
“We’re young, so a lot of people are learning the game,” the coach said, adding that the team has the same number of players as last year.
Two of Truckee’s top players, Danny Kruck and Craig Cuffney, make up the only seniors on the 13-man roster, and Andrew Straw is the lone freshman. Of the remaining 10 players, five are sophomores and five juniors.
Junior Andrew Pado, half of Truckee’s No. 1 doubles team along with Cuffney, agreed with his coach about the Wolverines’ consistency.
“It’s definitely better than last year. I think we’re learning a lot more,” Pado said.
“Last year we had better individual players, but this year we’re just playing better together.”
Pado’s doubles teammate pointed to the squad’s ability to enjoy their practice time while taking care of business on the court as a strength.
“As a team we just have a lot of fun at practice but we get our work done, too,” Cuffney said. “It’s kind of a mix of both (fun and work).”
Cuffney said he prefers playing doubles because “It’s a lot more strategy and you have to think it out a lot more.”
The reason he and Pado make a good team: “Good communication,” Cuffney said. “We talk a lot.”
They’re also on the same page in regards to goals for the season, which include equaling or surpassing last year’s performance at Regionals, when they played into the second round against some stiff competition.
“Hopefully we can win a couple rounds there. We’ll see how far we get,” Cuffney said.
Another Wolverine who played well in last year’s Regional Tournament is Kruck, who worked last summer as a Northstar tennis instructor.
Kruck’s goal is “Just to make it to Zones (Regionals) and do as good as last year,” when he lost to the No. 3-seeded player (from Incline), 7-6, 6-4, 7-6, in a three-hour match. “Doing something like that again would be fun.”
Jackson said it’s looking as though the Wolverines will finish the season in fifth or sixth place behind McQueen, Manogue, Galena and Spring Creek. The battle for fifth most likely will be between Truckee and Reed, Jackson said.
The fifth-place finisher at the end of the regular season is allowed to enter two doubles teams and two singles players in the Regional Tournament from Oct. 3-11; the sixth-place finisher can enter one doubles team and one singles player.
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As seniors from North Tahoe collected diplomas this week, a group of Lakers continued another local tradition — capturing first place at the boys’ regional golf championship.