TYLER WESSELS joins the tennis team


Ames High tennis players have been wondering for the past year who their new coaches will be come spring. Miriam Skrade, ex-coach for the boys, decided last year that she would not coach the 2014 season, and girls’ coach Lucas Boyd moved out of town, lea

ving everyone guessing if we would have coaches in time for spring.

After Skrade announced she would not be coaching this upcoming season, the search for a new coach led to the Ames Racquet and Fitness Center and Seth Harris.

Seth Harris has been the coaching the ARFC’s youth tennis clinic for over 3 years. He gives lessons at all levels, but has coached (along with Tennis Director Ryan Roeth) old legends like Jessica and Jordan King, Alex Quin, Tyler Wessels, and Alex Huang. It is unknown whether or not last year’s assistant coach Joe Petschauer will return to coach the team with Harris.

The girls’ team will be welcoming back coach Lucas Boyd for his second year as head coach (and he will be welcoming a commute from Johnston to Ames). Unfortunately, assistant coach Dan Tracy (and his twitter) from the 2013 season will not be returning to his position. We have yet to hear about who will replace Tracy.

As for the new players this upcoming season, the boys’ team will have a new crutch to lean on: semi-pro senior Tyler Wessels. “The [boys’] tennis team apparently lost a lot of pretty okay players last year,” said Wessels, “so I decided to step in.”

It’s Wessels’ first year playing tennis for Ames High School, but it’s not his first year on a court. “I’ve played with some friends before,” said Wessels. “They’re aight.”

In previous years, AHS tennis has always attracted long-time players from the clinics and clubs around Ames. New players trying out for the teams came for a PE exemption and/or due to rumours of tubs of food following the teams, as well as Cafe lunches. This year, however, there is a whole new appeal.

“I’m doing tennis,” said senior Hill Wang, “because Tyler’s doing tennis.”

“I guess they all kind of look up to me,” said Wessels. The desire to play competitive tennis is no longer a factor in the decision to join the team. Relative to spending time around Wessels, the appeal of the sport itself has become completely secondary.

“I try not to think too much of it,” said Wessels, who is looking forward to cleaning up on the court. “If they want me to lead, how could I say no?”

Needless to say, everyone is pumped for the new season. “I’m up for it,” said Wessels. “I’m always glad to help them out.”