TONASKET – With two new co-head coaches, the Tonasket tennis team is looking to improve over their performance last year.
The co-head coaches, Tara Deebach and Allen Godwin, are assisted by Anitra Atchison, a former Tonasket tennis player. Deebach was an assistant coach to Gary Garner in the past alongside Godwin, who has previously been the head coach for four years and an assistant coach for three years. He took two or three years off from coaching before coming back this season.
“I just think there was a need for a new coach and Deebach sharing the responsibilities with me made it a lot more inviting to come back to coaching,” Godwin said. “We’re fundamentalists. We focus heavier on the fundamentals with the kids. It’s kind of more of a relaxed atmosphere because it’s supposed to be a fun sport and to give kids a life-long skill. We’re competitive, too, but it’s about the kids so we keep things in perspective.”
The team this year has 36 players, which Godwin said is a larger turnout than the sport has had in the recent years. There are not many returning players, however, and there are only two returning seniors: Karl Bharucha and Damon Sprague.
“For the most part, we’re pretty young,” Godwin said. “We have two pretty strong boys returning from state all the way down to beginners who’ve never touched a racket before.”
He said one strength of the team is that there are some really coachable young kids that are hungry to learn and that hunger usually turns into a lot of improvement.
“Our weakness is not knowing what’s on other teams,” Godwin said. “Our goal right now is for everybody to show improvement, definitely on the girls’ side. If everybody keep improving than at the end of the season, we’re going to look a lot better than we will look at the beginning.”