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Thomaston boys tennis team moving in the right direction

POSTED May 03, 2013
BY John Nestor
Twitter: @nestorjdn



Thomaston's Jack Hartle has been a bright spot for the Bears at first singles so far this season.

THOMASTON - The Thomaston High boys tennis team has had a tough go of it of late but is headed in the right direction.

The Bears knocked off Gilbert, 5-0, on Wednesday at Thomaston Center School to snap a four-match losing skid that came against the top teams in the Berkshire League.

Thomaston is 4-6 on the season after beating Gilbert, which was the Bears' fourth match in eight days.

"We have been playing so much better and improving so much," said Thomaston coach Margaret Stager. "Just comparing some of the scores we had and stats from the beginning of the season to now, I can see that we have come a long way."

An avid tennis player who loves the game, Stager is in her first year as Thomaston coach. Filling in for Jennifer Fischer, who is out having a baby, Stager was talked into taking the job by her grandson Nick, a sophomore who teams up with Ben Parietario to form the Bears' first doubles team.

"I've never coached before, I play a lot and love the game, but have never coached it," Stager said. "And my grandson recruited me to take the job. He was telling me they won't have a team if I don't coach, so he talked me into it."

Stager may have never coached before, but certainly knows enough tennis to teach the Bears a thing or two and she hasn't regretted taking the job for a minute.

"It's been great, and the kids really listen," Stager said. "I love it. It's been a lot of fun so far and I am really looking forward to the rest of the season and seeing how we grow."

Thomaston's season started with two losses before it reeled off three consecutive wins. Before the win over Gilbert, the Bears had a stretch where they faced the best teams in the league in Northwestern, Lewis Mills, Shepaug and Housatonic Regional.

While the Bears weren't able to knock off any of the contenders, they made them work, especially Shepaug as brothers Jack and Will Hartle won first and second singles matches respectively and the outcome wasn't decided until the final match of the day.

"We are drilling skills all the time and its paying off," Stager said. "They have their groundstrokes and we are working a lot on going to the net, going for lines and match strategy. They have the skills but they didn't have the confidence at the start of the season."

As the confidence grows, Stager expects the results will follow and the hard work will pay off.

"I really want to try and get everyone into states," Stager said. "If we keep working on improving their all-around games I think we have some matches coming up we can win and we can try and reach our goals."

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