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Not lacking in quantity: Transfer extends Jays’ varsity roster to nine-deep

Jamestown’s Nate Soulis returns for his senior year and will play in the No. 2 spot on the boys tennis team. Chris Aarhus / The Sun

The Jamestown High School boys tennis team isn’t short on quantity.

Coach Pat Mullowney said he likes the quality in that quantity as well. He feels he has a lineup that could go nine deep.

“We’re looking pretty deep,” Mullowney said. “I think we can be competitive up and down the lineup.”

Jamestown opens today with a West Region dual at Minot, followed by the Minot Round Robin on Saturday.

Having graduated five of its top six players, the Blue Jays don’t have a lot of varsity experience. Still, a transfer should give the team a big boost.

Eric DeBoer was Aberdeen’s No. 6 singles player as a freshman last season, and Mullowney said he’ll slot right into the No. 1 spot for the Blue Jays.

“He’s earned No. 1 right now,” Mullowney said. “He’s a pretty good all-around player. He does a lot of things well.”

It makes a difference, Mullowney said, for the rest of the team, as each player gets to move down a spot, which could lead to more competitive matches.

“That really helps our depth,” he said.

Nate Soulis returns at No. 2 singles for his senior season.

“He’s matured a lot since last season,” Soulis said. “He’s a good athlete all-around. He’s a lot stronger than he was a year ago.”

Junior Jake Reuther fits into No. 3 singles, and senior Ben Harris appears to have No. 4 locked up.

“I expect a big year out of Jake — he’s really court savvy,” Mullowney said. “Ben has played a lot of tennis throughout his years. He’ll certainly give us 100 percent every time. He hits the ball pretty well.”

The gray area starts in the competition for the last two spots. Senior Nick Stockert, junior Tanner Lunzman and freshman Connor Mullowney are all in the running. Junior Kelton Beedy and freshman Cole Bennion are also in the mix.

“There’s a log jam there,” Mullowney said. “It’ll probably be that way for the first three weeks. After that, we have to find a lineup. We’re not gonna jockey that around after week three.”

The depth could make some back-end players only see time in doubles competitions.

“We’re certainly figuring out combinations,” Mullowney said. “It’s highly competitive. Our No. 2 doubles might play our No. 4 in a close match. There isn’t a lot of difference.”

­­Mullowney said he thinks today's opponent — Minot — could be called the early favorite to win the West Region. He also cited Century and Mandan as contenders as well.

“I think we could be right in the mix there,” Mullowney said. “We should compete well. It’s a matter of figuring out how to win tennis matches.”

Sun sportswriter Chris

Aarhus can be reached

 at (701) 952-8462 or