Despite turnover, Bingham boys tennis has big plans
Apr 15, 2019 03:15PM
By Josh McFadden
The Bingham boys tennis team has started the 2019 season, ready to improve on last season’s sixth-place showing at the state tournament. (Photo contributed)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
With some tennis teams, losing four seniors, including two varsity competitors, could spell big problems. The Bingham boys have different ideas.
The Miners may have some holes to fill at various positions, but head coach Steve Peterson likes his returning players and is eager to see how his team fares this season.
“I’m happy with the team and with the direction we’re going,” he said. “We’re hoping to be competitive. We have a young team, but we’re deeper than we were last year. We have some competitive matches within the team as we’re figuring out the lineup.”
The Miners have 23 players on this year’s JV and varsity teams. Bingham has as many sophomores (10) as it does juniors and seniors. There are also three freshmen on the team.
Bingham’s first doubles team might be the most intriguing position to watch this season. Sophomore Josh Peterson (the coach’s son) and junior Cody Smith (the coach’s nephew) will once again team up after putting together an excellent season a year ago. The duo went to the state semifinals last season where they lost a close match to the eventual champions from Lone Peak. In that match, Josh Peterson and Smith were actually leading for a good portion but ultimately came up short in three sets.
“We’re excited about they’re contributions,” Steve Peterson said about the pair. “They one of the favorites in first doubles this season.”
First singles players Ethan Snow, a senior, has his sights set on a deep postseason run. Last season, he lost in the first round at the Class 6A tournament.
“He’s a very good player,” Steve Peterson said. “I expect great things from him.”
At third singles, senior Jeremy Christensen will work to make strides this season after falling in the first round at state in 2018. Senior Ben Crane, who reached the state finals at second doubles with Austin Cox last season, is eager for another run at a title. This time around, however, he’ll have to do it with a new partner, as Cox graduated. At the outset of the season, Steve Peterson said he was still searching for Cox’s replacement but had some “good options.”
Steve Peterson said those players who are back on the varsity squad this season have valuable experience and the talent to succeed. He’s also pleased with the players’ mindset and work ethic on and off the court.
“Our players have positive attitudes,” he said. “We’ve gelled well as a team.”
Region 4 won’t be easy. Bingham will once again have to contend against state power Lone Peak, which won the 6A crown a year ago and captured 5A titles in 2016 and 2017. The Knights lost some key players from the 2018 squad, but Steve Peterson said they’ll still be a force. Fellow Region 4 teams American Fork and Pleasant Grove placed second and third, respectively. Bingham finished sixth at state last season.