TEUTOPOLIS — Five lettermen return to the Teutopolis High School boys tennis team this season and Coach Greg Brumleve is happy to see the five back from a team that went 13-0 last season.

"Our greatest team strength is our evenly balanced talent mixed with their very competitive natures," said Brumleve. "This is a very healthy atmosphere that helps everyone to push everyone to be their absolute best every day in competing for the varsity positions. Other positives are that all have excellent attitudes and are super individuals and scholars.

"We are also quite fortunate to have Kent Probst as our junior varsity coach. A special thanks to Jim Hakman for his residual effects on the success of T-town tennis for so many years.

"We have two senior returning lettermen in Michael Vogt, who is our team captain, has lettered for the past three years and qualified for state competition in all three. He won second place in singles at the sectional last year. Michael has an excellent understanding of the game and shows great improvement. He has taken his game to the next level in the off-season by improving his volleys and overall game. Michael will provide necessary leadership for the team to excel again this year.

Nick Weber earned a varsity letter last year and is greatly improved as well. He is more focused mentally, therefore helping with his shot selection, consistency and overall game. Nick also uses his great footwork and volleying skills to his advantage. He plays with high energy and will be a key player for us this season.

"We have one junior letterman, Michael Brummer who has lettered for the past two years and is looking for a return trip to state this season after qualifying last year in doubles with Lee Bueknerkemper. He is quite athletic and has great leadership skills as displayed in basketball and soccer. Michael will find a way to be successful in whatever situation he is given.

"We have two sophomore lettermen, Ryan Deters who will be competing in his second year on varsity. He has a very powerful game and is implementing more strategy, finesse and patience to make it even better. Ryan spent numerous hours on the court last winter and it shows.

"Willie Jansen lettered as a freshman and is greatly improved through hard work last winter as well. His great consistency supplemented by a selective aggression make him quite a force on the court. Willie is a student of the game and improving his mental aspects with each practice."

Newcomers that should help the Wooden Shoes are seniors Sam Meyer and Adam Westendorf, juniors Jeremy Niebrugge, Lee Althoff, Colten Brown, Michael Esker and Russell Higgs and sophomores Drew Deters, Trent Gebben, Jordan Haskenherm, Nick Meinhart, Alex Moeglin, Calvin Schnabel and Ben Zuber.

Freshmen players are Joey Flach, Dustin Gebben, Todd Goeckner, Chad Goldstein, Nick Grunloh, Jacob Hoelscher, David Mersman, Travis Tegeler, Russell Wellbaum and Derrick Zerrusen.

"Sam and Adam will give the team a big boost this season," said Brumleve. "Sam always plays under control and has great consistency with needed fire as situations warrant them. Adam is aggressive on the court with nice volleying skills which makes him quite effective in doubles.

"Jeremy is also a top newcomer to the varsity lineup this year. He is very athletic with nice hand-eye coordination. Jeremy's success in soccer and basketball definitely help with the mental and physical aspects of his game.

"Lee, Colten, Michael and Russell are also in the hunt for varsity spots. They all have excellent fundamentals and super attitudes.

"The talent also abounds in the lower classes. Count none of these players out of possible varsity play. They are all very hard workers and will contribute in some capacity."

Lettermen lost from last year's squad included Lee Buehnerkemper, Andy Buscher, Michael Henry, Kolby Spiker, Kyle Swingler, Ethan Weber and Jesse Westendorf .

"These young men will definitely be missed," said Brumleve. "Lee and Andy have gone on to compete at Lake Land College."

Last year, the Shoes won the Robinson Doubles Tournament and the Champaign Centennial Doubles Invitational before going on to win the sectional championship.

Millie Lange can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 123 or millie.lange@effinghamdailynews.com.

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