Pirate netters begin season with fresh start

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
BOONVILLE TENNIS TEAM (front row, left to right) Connor Firman, Seth Thurman, Abigail Pannell-manager, Adam Hult and Logan Haynes. (second row, left to right) Adam VanDyke, Trevor Firman, Tucker Kaiser and Travis Dell. (third row, left to right) Ryan Brimer, coach, Gabe Brimer, Austin Coleman, Gabe Greis, Carter Rowlett, William VanDyke and assistant coach Mark Anderson.

Boonville Pirates tennis coach Ryan Brimer, like many coaches in the spring, have nothing to gauge the team off after having the 2020 season canceled due to the pandemic.

With 16 netters out for the 2021 season, Brimer said going back two years the Pirates will have a total of two starters returning in seniors Gabe Greis and Tucker Kaiser.

Brimer said after not having a season in 2020, it’s tough to predict where the team will be.

“Despite these boys missing a year of experience, I feel like we’ll have a solid season due to the fact that many of these boys have taken their own time to come to practice on their own outside of the season,” Brimer said. “The key to the season I feel personally will be our upper classes. They are the only ones that really know what they missed out on last year and they have an appreciation for the season we are able to have.”

The good news is that Brimer has a total of six seniors on the team this season. Another strength, he said will be going into the matches without stressing out about the competition and being able to just play because they have been here in a year.

He said the strengths and weaknesses of the team are fairly similar.

“Our weakness is that we just don’t have a lot of experience at the varsity level,” Brimer said. “Our No. 1 goal this season is that we want to be competitive in every match we play.”

With the season opener just days away against Osage on Monday, March 22, Brimer said going into the match senior Gabe Greis will be the No. 1 player for the Pirates.

Brimer said Greis has been a great team leader to start this year. “Gabe has come a long way from when he played as a sophomore,” Brimer said. “Gabe is a strong hitter and is very aggressive coming to the net and I look forward to seeing his exciting style.”

Senior Tucker Kaiser also has a lot to prove this season. As the No. 2 player in singles, Brimer said Kaiser has a big serve and is very quick around the court. “Tucker seems to be able to get a ball anywhere and I think he will have a big year,” Brimer said.

Greis and Kaiser will also play No. 1 doubles for Boonville.

The Pirates will also experience returning at the No. 3 and 4 positions. Brimer said junior Austin Coleman will play the No. 3 position, while Gabe Brimer-another junior-will compete at the No. 4 spot.

Brimer said Coleman is very athletic and also has a big serve. “Austin is very accurate with his shot placement,” Brimer said. “As for Gabe, his strength is getting his racket on every ball. He’s great up at the net with as tall and long as he is. I look forward to watching him grow as a tennis player this year.”

Brimer said Coleman and Gabe Brimer will play the No. 2 doubles position for the Pirates this spring. 

At the No. 5 position, senior Trevor Firman will get the starting nod for Boonville. Although this is Firman’s second year out for tennis, Brimer said this really is his first year competing. “For a first year player, Trevor has strong strokes, a strong serve and good vision on the court,” Brimer said. 

Senior Alex VanDyke will round out the sixth position in singles for Boonville. Brimer said VanDyke brings positivity to the courts for the team. “Alex is a long and rangy player and is able to get to balls most others can’t,” Brimer said.

Firman and VanDyke will make up the No. 3 doubles team for the Pirates.

Going into the first match of the season against Osage, Brimer said being that Osage is the only conference match and it’s the first match of the year, the goal is to beat the other team in the conference with tennis and win the first match of the season.

“This is a great group of guys,” Brimer said. “I love the dynamics of the team. We had some great weather and the boys have truly enjoyed being out for practice again. We have nine upper classmates and it was a tough fight for those top six positions. I think we could see all nine at different parts of the season playing at the varsity level.”

The Boonville Pirates tennis team will have its home opener on Tuesday, March 23 against the Marshall Owls. The match will be held at the high school tennis courts and will start at 4:30 p.m.

Tucker Kaiser, Sr.

Trevor Firman, Sr.

Gabe Greis, Sr.

William VanDyke, Sr.

Nick Weixeldorfer, Sr.

Austin Coleman, Jr.

Gabe Brimer, Jr.

Travis Dell, Jr.

Carter Rowlett, So.

Peyton Monteer, Fr.

Logan Haynes, Fr.

Connor Firman, Fr.

Adam VanDyke, Fr.

Seth Thurman, Fr.

Adam Hult, Fr.

3-22-at Osage, 4

3-23-MARSHALL, 4:30 

3-30-at Moberly, 4:30

4-6-at Smith-Cotton, 4

4-8-FULTON, 4:30

4-17-PIRATE OPEN, 9

4-20-COLUMBIA INDEPENDENT, 4

4-21-Warrensburg JV Tournament, TBA

4-22-MOBERLY, 4:30

4-28-at Higginsville, 4:30

4-29-MEXICO, 4:30

5-1-Osage Tourn., TBA

5-4-WARRENSBURG, 4:30

5-10-14-Team Districts, TBA

5-15-Individual Districts, TBA

5-17-19-Individual Sectionals, TBA

5-22-Team Sectionals, TBA

5-28-29-State Championship, TBA

Note: Home matches in caps.