Charger boys tennis has won six of seven matches so far this seasonMay 01, 2021 09:50AM ● By Catherine Garrett
Corner Canyon’s Spencer Willes has been playing No. 3 singles this season for the 6-1 Chargers. (Photo courtesy Spencer Willes)
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
The Corner Canyon High boys tennis team lost standout player Jensen Rideout to graduation last season, but the Chargers just added one from the family in freshman Aidan Rideout to a strong squad that returned every other player from the 2020 team.
Head coach Allison Rideout also noted the addition of freshman Beau Welker to her team this season. “They are both tournament players who are strong varsity contributors,” coach Rideout said, who also noted the depth of the junior varsity team in the program she is trying to build.
“Our goal is to work hard at every practice and every match and to have a great time while doing it,” coach Rideout said. “We want the boys to see the value of putting everything they have into something they enjoy doing.”
This season, Corner Canyon lost to Bingham 3-2 March 9. The Chargers were missing three varsity players and Tristan Buckner, who played No. 1 singles, also had the flu in the close match.
On March 16, they defeated Kearns 5-0. “Every match offers a different learning experience,” coach Rideout said. “When the ball comes at you slower, you have to focus on your footwork and make sure you’re in the right position and execute your stroke.”
Against American Fork March 23, they won 3-2 with Aidan Rideout winning at No. 2 singles, Spencer Willes at No. 3 singles and Cole Jenkins/Welker at No. 1 doubles.
Corner Canyon has also defeated Pleasant Grove (twice), Skyridge (twice) and Westlake while also defeating Riverton 3-2 without three of their top players and suffering a recent loss to Lone Peak.
“This is definitely one of the greatest seasons Corner Canyon has ever had,” Aidan Rideout said.
Aidan Rideout, son of Benji and Allison Rideout of Draper, has been playing tennis for seven years now and “hated it for six of those years,” as he stepped into a sport that his dad played in college. “As soon as I started playing for me and less for my family, it became more enjoyable and now I really love the feeling of competing,” he said about the sport that he has learned so much about hard work and progress from.
Willes, son of Steve and Lisa Willes of Draper, said tennis isn’t as loud and aggressive as other sports and really has a “balance between a physical aspect and being a gentleman’s sport.”
“You really learn a lot of self-motivation, discipline and your own composure as you grow and improve,” Willes said.
Welker, son of Lance Welker of Draper and Therisia Welker-Hadley of Sandy, has been enjoying his experience on the Chargers team this season and strengthening his own mental toughness. “You have to really keep your edge because even if you’re winning, you can still lose,” he said.
Also on the CCHS tennis squad this season are Chase Ashton, Sam Bethards, Jaxon Bloechel, Andrew Borg, Tyler Burraston, Brandon Cutler, Matt Dorny, Charlie Jenkins, Nate Kennedy, John Norton, Henry Purser, Jaxson Roberts, Jason Sharp, Ayden Smith, Boston Snow, Connor Snow, Austin Squire, Dylan Squire, Josh Townsend, Nick White, Nate Winegar, Ethan Woodward and Ty Yeomans.
“This is a good group of players and they seem to excel no matter where they are asked to play. I’m so proud of them,” coach Rideout said. “They also have the highest cumulative GPA for boys spring sports so they are killing it on and off the court!”
Coach Rideout is being assisted by Megan Dorny, Adrien Jenkins, Lance Squire and Benji Rideout on the coaching staff this season.
Corner Canyon is also scheduled to face Lone Peak and Westlake before region tournaments and the 6A championships May 13 and 15 at Liberty Park.