By Tiffany L. Rehbein
Nine seniors will make their final appearance at the Central A divisional tennis tournament this weekend.
All of them have winning records and all of them have a great shot at advancing to the State A tournament.
"I just want everyone to play their best," Havre tennis coach Sam Dierman said. "That's all you can ever ask out of anybody."
Doing their best is what these seniors have done throughout their high school career. This season, the seniors boast a 76 percent winning record. Throughout their careers, the seniors boast a 67 percent winning record.
Kellen Malone, the No. 1 boys' singles' player, boasts a 23-2 season record. He is also the defending divisional and state boys' singles' champion.
"He has a chance to defend his titles," Dierman said. "He has been outstanding throughout his four years." Malone has an overall record of 88-26.
Nick Heninger will return to his old ways and join Seth Maristuen in No. 1 doubles. Heninger was the No. 2 singles' player, but with the absence of Mike Frey to injury, Heninger opted to fill the hole. Frey had been teamed with Maristuen throughout the season.
"He (Heninger) is doing whatever to help the team," Dierman said. "They are going to be one of the best teams not only in the division, but also in the state."
Heninger had been a doubles player in the past, but was moved into singles' play this season. He has a 24-3 season record and 50-23 overall mark.
"He has gone from someone who didn't even know if he liked tennis, into someone who is playing to be a champion," Dierman said.
Levi LaPrath, a member of the No. 2 doubles' team, boasts an 18-7 season record.
"This year he is so solid," Dierman said. "Everything he has got, he worked hard to achieve." LaPrath has an overall record of 35-19.
Teri Sherrill, the No. 1 girls' singles' player, has a season record of 24-3.
"Teri has become probably the premier girls' player in the state," Dierman said. "She has done everything that she has needed to do to get where she is."
Sherrill has an overall record of 101-36.
Crystal Heggen has 20 wins and six losses this season. She will fill the No. 2 singles' spot.
"She has been my best practice player," Dierman said. "It has been fun to watch how she has improved."
Heggen has an overall record of 66-35.
Nichole Borst will play at the No. 3 singles' position. She has a season record of 19-10 and an overall mark of 37-26.
"She just works hard," Dierman said. "She will always get the most out of her ability."
Kirsten Kuka is a member of the No. 1 doubles' team who boasts a season record of 16-9.
"Academically, she is so outstanding," Dierman said. "Her grades are so good it leads to how she plays."
Kuka has an overall mark of 67-47 throughout her career.
"She played a lot in the off-season and I know they will have it together at divisional," Dierman said.
She will have to get it together with teammate Tiffany Shrauger.
"Tiffany has had the best senior season of any senior we have," Dierman said. "In basketball she exceeded what we expected. In volleyball she exceeded what they expected. In tennis she's doing the same thing. She has had a dream senior season and it's not over yet."
Shrauger has a career mark of 61-37.
"She is a hard worker and has put in the time necessary to make herself as good as she is," Dierman said.
Jana McPherson rounds out the senior roster. A member of the No. 2 doubles' team, McPherson has proven herself to be a leader.
"She is the biggest leader in the school," Dierman said. "Ability is ability, but what she doesn't have there, she makes up for in desire and heart."
McPherson has a season record of 21-8 and an overall mark of 63-36.
Joining McPherson in doubles action is junior Sam Velk.
"Sam Velk is a real hard worker and gets the most out of her ability," Dierman said.
The No. 4 singles spot will be filled by Samantha Shrauger. A freshman, Shrauger competed in varsity action for the first time last weekend.
Jennifer Gorder and Ryan Hamilton will fill the No. 3 doubles' spot. They went 1-2 last weekend, also in their first varsity competition.
"They are young, but this is just going to be a great experience for them," Dierman said. "You just can't ever predict freshmen."
Joining the new freshmen are the slightly more seasoned boys freshman Cody McLain and sophomores Andrew McLain and Terrance Wells.
Wells will compete at the No. 2 singles, Cody McLain at No. 3, and Andrew McLain at No. 3.
Dierman also gave credit to his assistant coaches, Nathan Dorchus and Sarah Keller, for their help this season.
"They have been great assistants, and that is why we have done as well, also," Dierman said.
Competition kicks off at Butte Friday and continues through Saturday.