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Youth movement for Mount Si High tennis
Mount Si’s tennis team may be young, but that youth may be a good thing for the future of a program which has struggled in the Kingco Conference.
Wildcat coach and Mount Si photography teacher Jim Gibowski is back for his third season. The coach is excited about the group of freshmen he has on the roster this fall. “This the most talented group of freshmen we’ve had in my three years,” Gibowski said. Leading that group of freshmen is Camden Foucht, and he may be one to watch for the next four years. Foucht’s potential could be endless, thanks to a unique skill he possesses. “Two forehands, left and right,” Gibowski explained. “That’s how I got taught as a kid.”
Foucht has been participating in the sport for only two years, after his father introduced him to it. Asked about how he hopes things turn out this season, he was short and to the point: “I guess we’ll find out.”
A couple of upperclass players to watch include senior Tyler Mrachek and junior Azhar Khandehar. Gibowski says Khandehar can be successful with his speed.
“He can outrun almost any ball and he drives people nuts on the court,” the coach said.
As for Mrachek, he not only will be valuable on the court this fall, but off it as well, as he helps lead a team with a lot of new players.
Mrachek plans to “step up and just help out what my team needs, give them advice, tell them how the matches work.” Mrachek said.
Other players to pay attention to include senior Shane Hennig, junior Andrew Bottemiller and sophomore Josh Hamann.
The Wildcats will likely benefit this season from a return to campus courts. The boys spent all of last season playing and practicing at Snoqualmie Community Park’s courts on Snoqualmie Ridge due to construction delays on the new Mount Si campus facilities.
“It makes a big difference,” Gibowski said, referring to having six courts at the campus compared to the three they had on the Ridge.
The league looks to follow the trends of the past 30 years, with Bellevue and Mercer Island the class of Kingco. That said, Mrachek has a modest goal in mind for his team.
“We’re going to try to send a couple people to Kingco and try to get as much success at we can,” he said.