Justin Turner hopes to keep the Logan High School tennis program heading into the right direction.
With several returning athletes on both the boys’ and girls’ side is could be another successful spring for LHS tennis.
Four of Logan’s top girls are returning this season, led by No. 1 seed and junior Lauren Chambers and Morgan Browning.
Senior Zak Hatfield returns to lead the Logan boys.
Also returning is junior Keith Williamson, who has state tournament experience, as well as Logan and Jacob Adkins — a top doubles tandem. Freshman Tyler Moore and Trevor Adkins at No. 3 doubles could also be strong for the Wildcats.
Coach Turner said, again, the indoor facility at the Chief Logan State Park Rec Center has helped his players train particularly in the cold winter months and has given his program a huge boost the last few years.
“Our players have the playing experience thanks to indoor facilities such as the Rec Center,” Turner said. “Some of them have played in tournaments in the off season to preapre. That is really when it counts — how hard you work in the off season. Like I tell them every year you can’t just come out on the court the first day of practice and expect miraculous things to happen. Just like anything else preparation is the key. Their preparation is in the off season from May to March. Just like the All Girls Basketball League how we saw the success of the Lady Wildcats this basketball season in defeating the odds we have to have strong support for these athletes at a young age and we are striving to do so in the Logan area. We have the facilities to make this happen.”
This is Turner’s fourth season as the Logan tennis coach.
This year, former Logan tennis standout Cherith Ragland-Altizer will join his staff. Ragland-Altizer played collegiate tennis at the University of Charleston.
“She has come on board to help us out as well as Carol Howerton who is our other assistant,” Turner said.
Since taking over the Logan tennis program three years ago, Logan has qualified at least one player for the state tournament every season.
“We have been blessed to have made it to the state tournament every year,” Turner said. “The first year I coached we had three with one of them going on to play at the collegiate level. The second year, we had four make it and last year we had five qualify for the state tournament. One of those, Rebecca Canterbury, is now playing at Davis and Elkins College. The expectation level is there for us to succeed.”
Logan has been placed in a new Class AAA region this season.
“We are in a new region this year,” Turner said. “We’ve been moved more towards the Huntington area with Huntington, St. Albans, Nitro, Point Pleasant, Lincoln County, Winfield, Spring Valley, Hurricane and Cabell Midland. This is another tough region we move into but we will be prepared and we will be in shape.”
The Wildcats have another difficult schedule. The highlight is a weekend overnight trip to the world famous Greenbrier Resort where Logan will trade forehands and backhands with Greenbrier East and Shady Spring.
“We will probably play one of the most diverse schedules in the state and that’s the way we like it,” Turner said. “One key trip we take is to play at the Greenbrier Resort. The kids have seemed to like that as they get to stay a couple nights there and play Greenbrier East and Shady Spring. The Greenbrier has been really good to our team and set up events just for us such as lazer tag on the front lawn. At the end of the day we have a good time, are ready to compete and proud to represent Logan High School.”
Logan is set to begin the 2013 season on Monday at home against Spring Valley in a 4:30 p.m. matchup. The Cats then host Lincoln County on Thursday, March 21.
Logan High School
2013 Tennis Schedule
March 18: Spring Valley, 4:30 p.m.
March 21: Lincoln County, 4:30 p.m.
March 22: vs. St. Albans at Coonskin Park, 4:15 p.m.
March 23: Point Pleasant, 11 a.m.
March 25: at Winfield, 4 p.m.
March 26: at Westside, 4:30 p.m.
March 27: Hurricane, 4:30 p.m.
March 28: vs. Greenbrier East at The Greenbrier Resort, 2:30 p.m.
March 29: at Shady Spring at The Greenbrier Resort, 3 p.m.
April 5: at Cabell Midland, 4:30 p.m.
April 8: Mingo Central, Westside, 3:30 p.m.
April 9: vs. Spring Valley at Ritter Park. 4:30 p.m.
April 11: George Washington at Coonskin Park, 4:30 p.m.
April 13: at Hurricane, 12 p.m.
April 15: St. Albans, 4 p.m.
April 16: Pikeville (Ky.), 3:30 p.m.
April 17: Cabell Midland, 4 p.m.
April 19: Point Pleasant, 3:30 p.m.
April 20: at Huntington, 12:15 p.m.
April 22: Winfield, 4 p.m.
April 24: Huntington, 4:30 p.m.
April 27: vs. Morgantown at WV State, 8 a.m., vs. Nitro, 10 a.m., vs. Parkersburg, 12 p.m.
May 2-4: Class AAA Regional Tournament at Cabell Midland, TBA.
May 9-11: Class AAA State Tournament at Kanawha City, TBA