By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
The Del Norte High boys tennis team is set to hit the courts again for another season beginning next week.
On Tuesday, the Warriors travel to Humboldt County to take on Arcata. Thursday, the squad faces Ferndale on their home court in Crescent City.
Five players from last year return to the team as juniors, while six new players make up the rest of the squad.
Head coach Kirk Olesen said his team has been looking solid so far.
"It looks like I'll have a (solid core) of about six kids," he said.
But practices have been limited by the consistently rainy weather the past several weeks.
"It's just the nature of the beast," Olesen said. "We face it every year."
Junior Blake Polidore is an experienced player who has had brothers play tennis, with Olesen saying he's developing into a pretty good player.
Junior David Standring has ben "looking really good at practice," Olesen said.
He has developed into the best server on the team so far, Olesen said.
Tyler Pitman, also a junior, played tennis over the summer and has come into the spring looking better, his coach said.
Chad Richins played mainly doubles last year but has worked his way into starting in singles play.
Joel Brehns, a left-hander, has improved tremendously since his first practice and should contribute to the team this year, Olsen said.
"He's starting to catch on to what we want him to do and he's hitting a nice ball," he said.
Ben Tell, a junior, has been playing tennis for a number of years and should be a good player for the Warriors, his coach said.
Olesen, who started coaching tennis in Eureka in 1978, has been coaching tennis at Del Norte on-and-off since 1981.
While his players over the years might not have gone on to the U.S. Open, Olesen said he is pleased many developed a love for tennis and still play the sport as a hobby.
To him, it's a good feeling to be teaching players the fundamentals of tennis and to help them learn to enjoy and love the game.
"That's what it's about on this level," Olesen said. "To teach the kids about tennis."