In 2011, the Hamburg Area High School boys' tennis team went 10-1 to win the division, then advanced as far as the Berks League semifinals. Since then, the Hawks have had a pair of losing seasons, so they would like to get back to that division-winning form.
This team has that potential. They have a lot of players back from last year's team, yet they are still relatively young with only one senior. Even if they don't win the division, they are certainly on the right track.
"We have everyone back from last year's team and most of the players have grown physically and improved their tennis skills,' said head coach Bill Tritt.
Amont those coming back from last year's team is the number one singles player, Austin Manmiller. Cole Hindenach,Nick Rausch and Dylan Schreiner were the two through four players last year and all will be back this year. The order of those three will be change from match to match, depending on who has the hot hand.
Danian Ulrich was the number five singles player last year, but he tore his ACL during a soccer game in the fall, so he will be out all season.
Among those challenging for his spot will be Neal Kerschner, Nate Parent, Devon Messner, Jason Li and Jake Eller.
There are 14 players on the team which means there will be some depth. Coach Tritt likes what he sees in some of his freshmen and sophomores, so he's very optimistic about the season.
"Our goals this year are to improve as the season goes on, to mesh as a team, and individually to acquire the courage and self confidence as players to compete at the highest levels in the league,' said Tritt. "If we can focus successfully on these goals, the victories will come.
"Weather is always an issue boys tennis. This year we have had one full day outside to practice in 11 possible days, but that is facing the entire league and hopefully we can use 35 degree and 40 mph wind days to our advantage in the early matches.'
Kayla Morgan has joined the team as an assistant coach. A former Hamburg and Alvernia tennis captain and star player, Morgan is replace Janelle Roberts.