Polk County's Jared Searcy returns a shot during Wednesday's match (photo courtesy Byron Collins)

Polk netters flash potential in loss to Hendersonville

In the midst of rain and rescheduling matches, Polk County’s boys tennis team made its season debut Wednesday.

The Wolverines dropped a 6-2 decision to Hendersonville at Jackson Park, but head coach Richard Davis found plenty of reasons for optimism in the loss.

“I was pleased with the result of the match and the effort which we gave, with everyone being in brand-new positions,” Davis said. “We are starting three individuals who have never even played tennis before in a team-type concept, and not much tennis at all, period.

“I’ve been wrong many times before, but I feel we will truly improve if we ever get a chance to play some matches and practice some.”

Gone from last season’s squad is 1A state champion Ryan Heider, who graduated, and his younger brother, Henry, who is now a junior at North Carolina School of Science and Math. Returning starter Adam Kehrer started at No. 1 singles, with returnees Grant Waddell and Jared Searcy stepping in at No. 2 and No. 3 singles.

Newcomers Matias Akers, Jack Smith and Gaige Lewis rounded out the roster, with Smith taking a 10-7 win at No. 5 singles and Lewis a 10-6 winner at No. 6.

Akers dropped a 10-8 decision at No. 4 after battling to an 8-8 tie.

Polk County is slated to open its home schedule on Tuesday, hosting East Rutherford in a 4 p.m. match.

1. Devin Horton (H) d. Adam Kehrer 10-3; 2. Thomas Hoffman (H) d. Grant Waddell 10-5; 3. Tan Wright (H) d. Jared Searcy 10-2; 4. Grey Capps (H) d. Matias Akers 10-8; 5. Jack Smith (PC) d. Pedro Cenverto 10-7; 6. Gaige Lewis (PC) d. Bryson McKinney 10-6.

1. Horton-Wright (H) d. Kehrer-Waddell 6-2; 2. Hoffman-Capps (H) d. Searcy-Lewis 6-0.