Player development is focus of River Valley tennis this year
Springfield and Sleepy Eye Public Schools and Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s Catholic School have co-oped together once again this year to form the River Valley Wildcats Tennis team. Head Coach is Shane Laffen (Sleepy Eye) and is assisted by Brandon Andrews (Springfield). The team was relatively inexperienced in 2019 and finished the season at 1-15.
Following the announcement by the Minnesota State High School League that tennis and cross country could compete this fall, the Wildcats began practice on August 17. Their first match was on August 24 at Fairmont.
Top returning Singles Players are Brooklyn Moldan and Kaydince Thoms and top returning Doubles Players are Megan Stevens, Alexis Garza, Erika Lozano and Sydne Wahl. Returning letter winners from Springfield will be junior Sydne Wahl and senior Julia Groebner. Sydne is returning to the varsity line-up this year at #1 Doubles. “Sydne has continued to improve over the years and we look forward to seeing her step up to the challenge of facing each opponent’s top Doubles team,” Coach Andrews commented. “Julia has been a varsity contributor in many positions in the varsity line-up and will continue to do so again this season,” he added.
Other Springfield athletes on the team roster include tenth graders Bella Holles and Courtlyn Runck, ninth graders Kiera Lafferty, Erika Wells, Gabby Anderson and Bryn Gordon, and eighth grader Jillian Mays.
The coaches are excited about their newcomers this year. “Courtlyn Runck, Bella Holles, Bryn Gorden and Jillian Mays are all new to tennis this year. All of these (Springfield) girls have showed great potential and promise so far this year. I can’t wait to see their game grow over time,” said Andrews. Eight new Sleepy Eye athletes also joined the Wildcat roster—Reagan Schmidt, Hana Zieg, Brissa Hernandez, Lucy Schmidt, Anna Rossbach, Hailey Meinart, Carmen Lendt and Maya Nelson.