Tennis teams set to face AA schools
After three weeks of playing the same teams, the Havre High tennis team will travel to Helena today for a look at some Class AA schools. The matches continue until Friday.
Due to a district music festival, the Ponies will not be at full strength; only 13 kids will make the trip.
"This year's been frustrating trying to get all the teams together more than any other year I've been here," Havre coach Sam Dierman said. "There are so many question marks this weekend, I don't know how they're going to do. I have not had a full-strength girls team yet and that's why the doubles are ahead of the singles because they haven't missed."
For the boys, Cody McLain and Andrew McLain will play singles with Seth Maristuen and Jeremy Heninger and Ian Spencer and Marc Mariani playing doubles. Crystal Pyrak, Laura Hedstrom and Justine Erhard will make the trip playing singles for the girls with Jennifer Gorder and Casey Peterson and Erika Johnson and Brittne Zimmer playing doubles.
"I just think the big thing going into Helena is seeing some new teams," Dierman said. "We've been playing the same teams the first three weeks. Now we will get to see some tougher competition."
The tennis team is also beginning its part of the season schedule against Class AA competition. The tennis and golf teams are traveling together today to face the Helena schools along with many other Class AA teams.
"Thursday and Friday will be very good competition for Jeremy (Heninger) and Seth (Maristuen) and Cody (McLain) and Andrew (McLain)," Dierman said. "For the girls, it will be very good for Crystal (Pyrak) and Laura (Hedstrom)."
Even without having a majority of his players, Dierman said, his team should fare well in Helena.
"I feel we're going to do OK this weekend but it's going to be tough," he said. "Even with missing four of our better boys players, I feel we should be OK."
With several boys not making the trip, Dierman said, his team will have to forfeit some of their matches. But for the athletes going, the competition is key.
"Our next two weeks are very big matches," Dierman said. "The boys only have four more matches before divisionals."
The Ponies, who battled tough winds at their home invitational last Saturday, may be battling Mother Nature again as Helena is expecting snow for today.
"Who knows, we may be fighting the weather elements again," Dierman said. "But for the kids who are going, it will be a great experience. They will see a different level of tennis.
"The Helena Invitational is my favorite tournament of the year. It's too bad so many kids are going to miss it," he added. " I'm looking forward to watching my kids even though I don't have a full team. It will be good for the kids who are going."
The tennis teams will return to Havre late Friday only to turn around and leave for Great Falls early Saturday. Dierman said he will have most of his boys and girls back for the Great Falls trip.