High School Sports

Bellingham Red Raiders boys’ tennis preview

Coach: Steve Chronister

Last year: 13-1 overall (tied with Sehome for first in the Northwest Conference). ... The Red Raiders’ lone loss of the season came to Sehome 4-3 on Sept. 16, Bellingham then defeating the Mariners 4-3 later in the season to clinch a share of the league crown. ... Defeated eight of its opponents without dropping a single match. ... Nick Nolan and Connor Thompson made it to the state semifinals in doubles. ... Charlie Carmichael fell in the 2A bi-district singles tournament.

Players to watch: Connor Thompson (Sr.); Charlie Carmichael (Jr.); Logan Schilder (Sr.); Nate Pearsall (Sr.); Austin Shenton (Jr.).

Outlook: All things considered, when Chronister says his team’s biggest strength is its depth, it probably means it’s going to be another long year for the Northwest Conference. Returning for Chronister are top singles players Thompson and Carmichael. Thompson made a run to the Class 2A State Tournament in doubles with partner Nolan, who decided not to turn out this season to focus on golf. Thompson has since returned to playing singles, where Chronister believes his game is better suited. Carmichael, who played well enough to earn a bid into the bi-district tournament a year ago, will again be one of the better singles players in the conference. Rounding out the singles group are Shenton and Henry Ziels. “They have just been battling each other every day,” Chronister said. “It’s hard to beat that in practice. Iron sharpens iron, as we say.” Shenton has been a nice surprise after missing his entire sophomore season with an injury. He made quite an impression as a freshman on JV, and he’s picked up where he left off, Chronister said. Bellingham’s top doubles pairing will be Pearsall and Schilder, who played together last year.