From experienced players to tennis newbies, the Pratt High School boys tennis team includes a wide range of experience this season.


From experienced players to tennis newbies, the Pratt High School boys tennis team includes a wide range of experience this season.
PHS coach Larry Kahmeyer is excited about his team, which has 12 members and will be able to field a complete varsity and a complete junior varsity squad.
The Greenbacks have five seniors, two juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen on the roster.
“We have a wide range of experience,” Kahmeyer said. “We’ve got seniors who have a lot of experience, and we’ve got a couple guys who’ve come out and picked up a racket for the first time. I’m thrilled to have them but they don’t have a lot of experience to start with.”
Perhaps Pratt’s most experienced player is senior exchange student Leon Blacher.
“Leon is one of our best,” Kahmeyer said of the German student. “He’s a very skilled and accomplished player already.”
The Greenbacks have four more seniors on the roster — Logan Barker, Greg Jones, Willie Rempe and Josh Rennaker.
Juniors Brendan Whited and Jakob Whitson, sophomores Carson Launchbaugh, Saven Patel and Gates Schrack, and freshmen Grayson Hostetler and Cassidy Hullman complete the team.
Whitson is the only Greenback returning with sub-state experience.
“He’s our only one returning with postseason experience,”?Kahmeyer said of the junior, who played singles last year and placed in the top four at the Class 4A Colby regional.
Whitson is assured a spot on this year’s varsity as well, though at presstime Kahmeyer had not determined whether it would be in singles or in doubles.
Late last week, Kahmeyer said he hoped to decide on varsity and JV lineups early this week, but the weekend blizzard has delayed the final decision making.
“I know Leon, Jakob, and Greg Jones will be varsity for sure, and then we’re figuring it out from there,” Kahmeyer said.
As the snow melts away, the Greenbacks should be able to resume their normal practice routine in hopes of being ready to play Thursday if the weather allows.
PHS is scheduled to host a varsity tournament on Thursday at the Walter Blake Tennis Complex in Graves Park. Dodge City, Elyria Christian, Wichita Independent, and Ulysses are scheduled to attend, though that tournament may need to be postponed, depending on how quickly the remaining snow melts away.
The season was supposed to begin today with a junior varsity tournament, but the blizzard forced the Greenbacks to postpone their season opener until a later date.
But no matter when they get to start competing, Kahmeyer is excited about his team, and he looks forward to watching players improve throughout the year.
“We’re pretty scattered on experience, so I expect some of them to do pretty well and it will be a learning experience for some of them,” he said. “I’m not making any predictions on how we’ll do, but I always have a goal of getting someone out of regionals.”
Kahmeyer is assisted by Mark Crump, and the team has three managers — Lexie Cronister, Allison Evans, and Hannah Taylor.
Kahmeyer, who is in his first year back as coach after taking a several-year hiatus, coached the PHS girls team in the fall and had both singles players plus a doubles team advance to the sub-state round, where singles player Jessica Voss and doubles team Marina Dobbs and Catherine Schotte qualified for the Class 4A State Tournament.