Richard Davis has been smiling often during Polk County’s preseason girls tennis practices.
The veteran Polk County coach can look at the court and see players at all ends – a far cry from recent seasons in which Davis worried about having enough bodies to field a full team.
He also can see talent and experience, enough that winning Polk County’s first conference title since 2006 is a realistic goal.
“We are in a decent position to be competitive, particularly with us dropping down to 1A,” Davis said. “Playoffs are definitely a good possibility for us this year.”
Heading the hopes for the Wolverines this year is junior Hannah Jenne, the returning Western Highlands Conference singles champion and player of the year who also earned All-Area honors. Jenne finished last season unbeaten in singles play and reached the second round of the 2A West Regional.
“She’s even better this year,” Davis said. “She played a couple of other sports here last year, and I believe that has helped her. She’s moving much better than last year. The strokes have always been there.”
Also returning for Polk County is sophomore Tana Harris, who played No. 2 singles last year, as well as seniors Haven Dufford, Bella Marino and Trinity Branham and sophomore Ava Marino, all of whom saw extensive singles action last season. Senior Willow Arkell and sophomore Madi Pruette also return.
Team newcomer Delaney Suddeth is joined by three freshmen – Sara Muse, Julia Griffin and Virginia Rostick – that Davis said could also push for a starting spot at some point.
The Wolverines open their regular season on Tuesday, hosting North Henderson at 3 p.m. in a non-conference match.