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Midgets’ season ends at district

By Staff | May 9, 2008

SPENCER — The Estherville Lincoln Central boys tennis team had a short day at the Class 1A District meet in Spencer on Thursday.

While the Midgets couldn’t come up with a set, the team had its chances in several matches.

In singles play, Joe Woodward lost to LeMars’ Eric Janssen 6-4, 6-2 and Phil Leffel lost 6-1, 6-4 to Spirit Lake/Okoboji’s Blake Kleigl.

“Joe looked like he was going to be able to stay in the match when he was in a tight first set, but wasn’t able to hold off his opponent losing in the second set,” said ELC coach Chris Koenck. “He made a huge improvement since this time last year coming from No. 1 JV to No. 3 varsity. Joe is a very bright student and has bigger things ahead of him.”

Koenck said Leffel has been one of the team’s most consistent players.

“He has had some heartbreaking losses, but always seemed to remain positive,” said Koenck. “He seemed to always keep a level head in his matches and that is what kept them close. Phil has been a great player to coach and his attitude and effort will be missed next season.”

In doubles play, Adam Mustard and Seth Origer lost to Cherokee’s Tom Wilson and Daniel Feser 6-2, 6-1; and Tyler Halstead and Jim Mohler fell to Storm Lake’s Taylor Anderson and Jeremy Boese 6-4, 7-5.

“Adam and Seth made a great team and have been working together since they were freshmen,” said Koenck. “I thought that they both showed improvement from last year, jumping from an exhibition spot to our No. 5 and No. 6 varsity positions. I am proud of the way these two have stepped up and given their all in each of their matches.”

The coach said he was looking for big things from Halstead and Mohler.

“They lost two close sets, where if a few points would have went our way, we could have been moving on to the next round,” said Koenck. “With these players being varsity players for four years, their experience and leadership will be greatly missed.”

All six ELC varsity players are seniors.

“All of these young men understand that the time they have spent on the court is a small piece of their lives and I hope they can all look back and feel proud about what they have accomplished,” said Koenck. “I am proud of every one of these players in the way they have handled themselves in every situation this year. They have made the best out of an inconsistent practice schedule, and having to play 3-4 meets per week. I commend them on their attitudes and effort in the little practice time we had and they always gave their best on the courts and in the classroom. These seniors will be greatly missed and there will be some big shoes to fill next year!”