Tigers start season by toppling River Falls
Experience should be a strong suit for the New Richmond boys tennis team this season.
That was validated last Thursday when the Tigers dominated play in a match against River Falls. The Tigers won the match 6-1 against a team that has annually been one of their main rivals.
Leading the Tigers are seniors Charlie Bohl and Jeff Engel who were state placewinners last year in doubles. This duo is doubly dangerous because they both have significant experience in singles and doubles. Bohl looks to anchor the singles lineup for the regular season and Engel is leading the doubles lineup to start the season. Tiger coach Mike Montello said it remains a possibility that he would place the two in doubles for the WIAA tournaments to see if they can return to the state tournament podium.
Bohl opened the season with a 6-3, 6-0 win in singles. Engel was teamed with Shawn Anderson winning 6-1, 6-0 at one doubles. Montello said Anderson "has made some great progress" to earn the other spot in the one doubles combo.
The rest of the singles lineup on Thursday was Marvin Rettenmaier, Jordan Frye and Robert Rice. Frye and Rice saw action with the varsity last season, while Rettenmaier is a foreign exchange student. He is the third German foreign exchange student to play on the boys tennis team since Montello became coach five years ago.
Seniors Dan Bethke and Brian Rehurek return to the doubles lineup, giving the Tigers an experienced team at two doubles.
Sophomore Logan Frye and junior Mark Simon hadn't seen any varsity time before Thursday's meet. They are both athletic and should give the Tigers a formidable three doubles team.
Montello said the team's play was a little rough at River Falls, but added that was understandable for an opening match. He said he expects progress from the team to show quickly.
"Our goal is to win a conference title and be a force to be reckoned with come tournament time," Montello said. "Teams will be focused on us as a team to beat and we have to work to achieve our goal."
The schedule starts picking up for the Tigers, beginning this weekend. On Friday the Tigers will play at Winona, Minn. That's a stop along the way on their annual trek to the La Crosse Invitational, which will be played on Saturday. There they will face Black River Falls, Menomonie and La Crosse Central.
The Tigers then jump into Middle Border Conference action next Tuesday, against one of the teams that has been a perennial threat to win the MBC title. The Tigers will be playing at home Tuesday, with Amery's boys providing the competition.
New Richmond 6, River Falls 1
No. 1: Charlie Bohl (NR) def. Matt Lubich 6-3, 6-0
No. 2: Marvin Rettenmaier (NR) def. Jackson Schwartz 6-1, 6-0
No. 3: Jordan Frye (NR) def. Cameron Paulson 6-3, 6-4
No. 4: Michael Kujack (RF) def. Robert Rice 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
No 1: Jeff Engel and Shawn Anderson (NR) def. Brian Swenson and James Melaney 6-1, 6-0
No. 2: Dan Bethke and Brian Rehurek (NR) def. Levi Grant and Gerrett Stratton 6-3, 6-0
No. 3: Mark Simon and Logan Frye (NR) def. Justin Marita and Cullen Zahorski 6-3, 6-0