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Ho leads up-and-coming BHS tennis team
Sophomores Pole, Erickson to play No. 1 doubles.
The Bremerton tennis team is searching for stability, an elusive term considering the program has featured four coaches the past three seasons.
Boys basketball coach Casey Lindberg, who headed the girls’ team for the first time last spring, is the latest to join the coaching carousel.
Athletic director George Duarte coached the team most of 2008 in place of 2007 coach Jeremy Monroe, who at the time was completing an administrative internship. Duarte then found his own replacement in Erich Anspach, who coached the tail end of 2008 before accepting the same job at Olympic for the ensuing season.
It’s Lindberg who will man the ship in 2009.
“I’m learning a lot about the guys just because I wasn’t here last year,” Lindberg said. “I get a feel for where they are by listening to them a little bit, and we go from there.”
The three-sport coach assumed a 16-man roster that features a blend of senior experience and sophomore talent.
Ahn Ho, a senior from Vietnam who last year was eliminated by Justin Hike of Olympic in the Olympic League Tournament, is the Knights’ top hitter and will play No. 1 singles.
Lindberg expects Ho to compete for an Olympic League singles title, although he said it’s no guarantee and Ho must improve his mental toughness.
“He’s a very good striker of the ball, he’s really capable of hitting winners, he gets good action on the ball and he’s pretty accurate,” Lindberg said of Ho. “Sometimes Ahn is his own worst enemy. Mentally, he can kind of get taken out of a match.”
Ho, who plays club tennis, hopes to advance beyond the league tournament. He is working to establish consistency with both his backhand and forehand and prefers to play on the baseline, although he said he also is comfortable at the net. Additionally, his serve continues to improve.
“I have more spin on my serve (this year),” Ho said.
The No. 2 and No. 3 singles slots have yet to be filled, but Lindberg has penciled in sophomores Doug Erickson and Matt Pole at No. 1 doubles. The duo played every match together last season – primarily at No. 3 – and both play club tennis, Lindberg said.
Erickson and Pole agreed the shift from No. 3 to No. 1 would be difficult.
“We pretty much need to keep calm and not get aggravated if we make a bad shot,” Erickson said.
James Hill, a junior and the brother of 2008 Bremerton Patriot Female Student-Athlete of the Year Jacki Hill, is vying for a spot at No. 2 doubles. Justin Wells is contending for the No. 2 singles position, although Lindberg has yet to set that in stone.
“We’re going to have to mix and match a little bit,” Lindberg said. “The hard thing for me is a lot of these guys are kind of at the same (skill) level. It makes it kind of tough.”