Sean Swisher knows he will have to tweak the Findlay High boys tennis lineup this season.
He also knows it won’t take long to see how the adjustments are working.
“Five of our first six matches are against the top four Division I teams in Northwest Ohio and the top Division II school,” Swisher said. “This season will start off with a huge challenge.”
The good news for Swisher, who enters his seventh season as FHS head coach and just three victories shy of 100 career wins, is that he returns four of the seven starters that a year ago earned the Trojans a 17-4 overall record and a second-place finish (6-1) in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference standings.
The flip side is that he has three key positions to fill with the graduation of doubles players Kyle Hennessey and Andre Hoffman and the absence of Matt Munoz.
Hennessey teamed with Alec Kagy on a No.1 doubles team that was 21-7 and earned second-team all-TRAC honors. Hoffman teamed with Logan Tichenor on the No. 2 doubles team that went 16-11 and was honorable mention all-league and all-Northwest District.
Munoz was 26-6 and the TRAC runner-up at No. 2 doubles and 59-17 during his high school career. He would have been a senior this season, but opted to graduate early so he could study abroad in Brazil.
Swisher will be counting heavily on his returning starters –Kagy and Tichenor in doubles and singles players Drew Swisher and Sam Giedeman.
Drew Swisher earned the No. 1 singles spot as a freshman, and ended up posting a 20-11 record and winning a Division I sectional championship. He earned first-team all-TRAC honors after finishing third in the league tournament.
Giedeman was 21-5 and TRAC runner-up at No. 3 singles. Drew Swisher, Munoz and Giedeman advanced to the Division I district and won opening-round matches before falling in the quarterfinals.
Looking to fill the varsity vacancies will be some talented underclassmen who helped Findlay’s JV team placed first among TRAC schools last season.
Findlay’s 2018 lineup will get a major test right from the start when the Trojans open the season at Toledo St. John’s on Tuesday (April 3). In the six years the TRAC has been in operation, St. John’s has not lost a league match.
Findlay’s home opener will be Wednesday (April 4) against 23-time Western Buckeye League champion Lima Shawnee. The Trojans are at Fremont Ross on Thursday (April 5) and will compete in the Norwalk Invitational on Saturday (April 7).
Over a three-day span, Findlay will have a home match (April 9) with Lexington, which has won eight of the last nine and 11 of the last 13 Ohio Capital Conference championships, then hit the road on April 10 at Toledo St. Francis, which tied Findlay in last year’s TRAC tournament, and Wednesday (April 11) at Perrysburg, the three-time reigning champion in the Northern Lakes League.