|Gering tennis team welcomes new coach|
|March 25, 2016 Jerry Purvis|
Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen Katie Patrick is the new coach of the Gering girls’ tennis team, with a young squad of about 20 players. From left in the back row are: Faith Hesse, Lyndsey Gross, Bobbie Claflin, Ava Marez, Moett Maag, Blanca Munoz, Mig (Migdahi) Garcia and Mckenna Hackett. Middle row: Heather Davis, Paige Peterson, Annessa Escamilla, Sheridan Blanco, Delaney Dean, Marley Garcia, Arianna Guel and Erika Farret. Front row: Claire Allord and Kaitlyn Wagoner. Not pictured are Zoee Knaub and Annastacia Cowan.
Three returning seniors and two returning juniors will help provide some of the leadership as Gering girls’ tennis fields a young team for the 2016 season.
Katie Patrick, who teaches at Gering’s Geil Elementary School, is the new girls’ tennis coach as she gets her team of about 18 players ready for competition.
“We have a young team when it comes to experience, but I think they’re getting the fundamentals of game,” Patrick said. “We’re working hard on those, paying attention and building from there. We have a lot of new girls and I’m excited they’re developing really fast.”
Patrick takes over from former coach Justin Reinmuth, who resigned after the 2015 season. She also has experience in coaching the tennis team at Alliance High School, one of Gering’s regular opponents during the season. Her assistants are April Carlson and Tim Nagaki.
Patrick has also been an assistant for Matt Palomo with the Gering Tennis Club in both junior and adult divisions.
“Katie coached at Alliance a few years ago when I was coaching the Gering boys,” Palomo said. “She’s very persistent in getting what she wants and she really knows the game. She cares about all her players and makes sure they’re doing well in their school work.”
Several of Gering’s returners played club tennis for Palomo when they were younger, so their experience will help as a mostly young team gets on its feet.
“Tennis is a game you can play all your life, so I want players to come to love the sport,” Patrick said. “I want the team to individually grow and develop their own style of game and enjoy it along the way.”
She said the returners should provide needed leadership and experience for the young team. So far, she’s still evaluating which positions to assign to team members.
“Katie has about 20 girls in the program this year and that’s awesome,” Palomo said. “If anyone can turn them around, she’s the one to do it. I’m real happy for her.”
Looking forward to the season, Patrick said all the matches are important. “Once you start discounting them, you’re already beaten. I also like there’s now a JV tournament for our younger players. The more we play, the better we get.”
Gering Girls Tennis Schedule
March 29 Triangular at Scottsbluff, including Alliance – JV only 2 p.m.
April 5 Triangular at Alliance, including Scottsbluff – Varsity only 2 p.m.
April 9 at Ogallala Junior Varsity Invitational 10 a.m.
April 11 at Kearney vs. Kearney and Kearney Catholic 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.
April 12 at Lexington Invitational 10 a.m.
April 19 Home triangular with Scottsbluff and Alliance – JV/V 2 p.m.
April 22 Home vs. McCook 4 p.m.
April 23 at Scottsbluff Invitational 9 a.m.
April 26 Triangular at Alliance, including Scottsbluff – JV only 2 p.m.
April 30 at McCook Invitational 10 a.m.
May 5 Kearney Invitational, vs. Kearney Catholic TBA
May 19-20 State Tournament TBA