This is the year to throw out the formula, or at least create a new one.
It’s not that area tennis teams had much of a choice in the past. They don’t have much of a choice in the present, either.
Thanks to late-season snow, many area teams will be playing tennis even after this week’s regionals are over.
How will that affect regional tournament performances? Time will tell. For her part, Poudre High School tennis coach Laura Ecton thinks it’s a good thing.
“It’s great to keep that competitive edge, that mental toughness alive,” she said.
On the flip side, Fossil Ridge coach Mike Scimeca said he worries practice time will be limited.
“I set our schedule to be really difficult and give us a lot of matches,” Scimeca said. “Now, with the weather, I question whether that’s a good thing because we haven’t had the opportunity to drill so much.”
Scimeca said in the long runhe thinks it’s a good thing. At this point, Scimeca said, there’s little practice could accomplish.
“The bottom line is we can clean up a couple of minor deficiencies,” Scimeca said. “If they’re match-ready, I think that’s a positive thing.”
The only flaw in this year’s grand experiment is many other tennis teams are in a similar situation.
Either way, it’s time for state tennis lineups to take shape.
This year, regional tournaments are set up differently. Before the season, teams knew if they were hosting regionals based on last year’s conference tournament results. Teams from other conferences are then placed into different regionals which will make for some interesting tennis. There is slim chanceany of the teams will have faced each other this season — or possibly in past seasons .
Another interesting piece of the regional puzzle is Fossil Ridge, which finished third in conference last season , will not host one of the eight regionals despite finishing fifth in state. Poudre, which finished fourth at state, will. In year’s past, the top eight finishers at state hosted the following year’s regionals.
The benefit of the new-look regionals is the chance for more Fort Collins area tennis players to take one of the top two spots at a regional and make it to state. The FRL Conference Tournament may well prove to be tougher than any regional. After all, Fort Collins was the only city high school apart from Fossil Ridge that made it to finals at the FRL championships.
“You look around at these regionals…Poudre’s looking pretty good at their regional,” Scimeca said. “I think Rocky’s got a very favorable regional. Fort Collins can get some kids in. Doing it this way, it spreads the strength of some of these people around.”
Tyler Silvy covers prep sports for The Coloradoan. Reach him via email at TylerSilvy@coloradoan.com or by phone at (970) 589-3829. Connect with him at Facebook.com/ColoradoanTylerSilvy or @TylerSilvy on Twitter.