LAURINBURG — As the calender approaches August, Scotland sports teams have begun early preparations for the fall season.
The Scots girls’ tennis team officially begins its 2015 campaign 5 p.m. Monday, as coach Atondra Ellis is set to host a combination of tryouts and workouts at the Scotland Tennis Center on Atkinson Street.
“I’m hoping for a good turnout,” Ellis said. “We’ll have tryouts Monday until the beginning of school because we didn’t have tryouts in the spring.”
Ellis takes over for former coach Mike Way, who led the program for one season before joining Scotland’s girls’ golf team this year. Way also directed the boys’ golf team in the spring.
Ellis, who coached the boys’ tennis team earlier this year, said the tryouts will serve as a key indicator for how her squad will look come the start of the season.
“In the past couple of years, I know we haven’t had enough to play, so we’re trying to get some more girls interested,” she said.
Scotland graduated its No. 1 singles player from last year — Sallie Wegner — but are projected to return No. 2 and No. 3 players Camryn Ellis and Anna Griswold.
Ellis said her daughter and Griswold are the most battle-tested returning players and will likely take leadership roles to guide an otherwise inexperienced roster.
“They both play really hard and are strong players, and they would probably be co-captains and would help the others,” Ellis said. “My feeling is that I will use both of them in leadership positions.”
Scotland’s first scheduled match is a Sept. 3 road contest against Purnell Swett, but Ellis said she is looking at adding a non-conference opponent or two to play in August.
Ellis hopes she finds a few diamonds in the rough during the first few weeks of workouts to help build her team. In the spring, she often relied on players who picked up a racket for the first time during tryouts and several boys turned out to be pleasant surprises on the court, like rising-sophomore Trey Armstrong.
“We’ve got some new girls coming out that haven’t played before and we did really well with that last year with the boys in the spring that hadn’t played before,” Ellis said. “Hopefully that will happen with the girls as well.”
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.