In just a few weeks as head coach, Jim Lawson is showing that he is not afraid to shake a few things up.
The first-year Moore High tennis coach enters the 2007 season with plans to bolster his lineup by spreading out the talent.
Lawson began by splitting up the successful doubles' combination of Chelsea Moore and Alex Reynolds. Last year the duo went to the state tournament in the No. 2 double's bracket. They went 1-2 in the tourney
Despite high expectations, Lawson said he feels it's best for the team to try them in other spots on the team.
"I'm not sure I am going to put them together this year," Lawson said during the Moore Quad Thursday. "I'm going to try them out as singles today and kind of change them around. Find out what works best for the team."
Another reason for the change is the unfamiliarity Moore and Reynolds may have after a long off-season.
"They haven't played together in the offseason, which is what I would have liked to have seen," Lawson said. "But basically we are starting over from scratch. So anything they knew about each other, anything where they may have anticipated another player's move, that's kind of gone now because they haven't had any more time on the court together since May."
Lawson said he hasn't made a final decision on the roster moves. He will decide this week on which direction to go.
Yet, regardless of where Reynolds is slotted, she is looking to end her high school career on a high note.
"Well being a senior, I think have a little bit of age advantage on everyone," Reynolds said. "I really expect to excel this year."
Whether it's as a single or part of a doubles team, Reynolds doesn't seem to mind either way. But she does admit playing by herself will present a few new challenges.
"You don't have that other person with you," Reynolds said. "It's a lot more of a mental challenge when your playing singles. Other than that it's a lot more work than doubles."
As a whole, the MHS girls return a bevy of young, but experienced talent. An once the players get used to the possible new lineups, Lawson believes they can do well down the road in the postseason.
"We also have two other seniors, Rebecca Childres and Ashley Moore," Lawson said. "All these girls have been in our program since they were ninth graders. So we are expecting a lot. It seems like in seasons past we ended up changing our lineup in April. And it's real frustrating to go into regionals with not much of a record. I want to figure out right now who is going to make those combinations that will get us to state."
The changes were not just made on the girls side. The Moore boys also saw a doubles team moved around.
Brothers Joe and Jarrett Deathrage were the Lions No. 1 doubles team last season. But this year, Lawson has teamed Jarret with Jared Covey to form the top doubles unit. And Joe will pair with new-comer Tim Harper for the No. 2 doubles team.
"We have got a lot of guys returning," Lawson said. "And we have some new guys coming out that are athletic who should be able to learn quickly and do well. Tim Harper, who played in junior high but has taken a year or two off, this guy can run down anything. We also have a ninth grader we are looking at."
While the doubles teams are set, Lawson is still trying to find the right players to lock into the singles spots.
"I'm not sure who our two single players are going to be right now," Lawson said. "But our doubles are set with guys who mostly have experience and Harper. We are still very young. The twins are sophomores. We have just one senior boy. W are still very young. But I think we will see some improvement this year."
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