Edens ready to lead JHS tennis in 2018
Ryder Lunzman is no stranger to a new coach being at the helm of the Jamestown High School boys tennis program.
"Out of the four years I played tennis, I've had three different head coaches," Lunzman said with a laugh. "It's fun meeting new coaches and seeing how they work. There's always a little change from one coach to another."
Bryan Edens has taken over coaching duties this fall, replacing former coach Ryan Iliff, who accepted an assistant coaching job with the University of Jamestown baseball program in late June. Jordan Kushkowski was the coach in 2016 and Pat Mullowney coached the year prior.
Edens explained JHS athletic director Jim Roaldson reached out to him in late July after the boys tennis position still wasn't filled.
"I wanted to get back into coaching and the opportunity arose," Edens said, who teaches grades 2-5 in the school district's Talented and Gifted Program. "I decided it would be a good fit after Jim and I talked. So I decided to give it a go this year."
Edens said he doesn't have much experience coaching tennis but hopes that Ben Matthews, his assistant coach, can help bridge the gap.
"He grew up playing competitively and coached quite a bit," Edens said of Matthews. "I'm just learning as I go and trying to get better daily with the guys."
The Blue Jays will be led by Lunzman, the only senior with varsity experience. Lunzman played at No. 4 singles last fall behind JHS graduates Connor Mullowney, Baylee Hatlewick and Cole Bennion. The three-sport athlete was also paired with 2017 captain Bennion on the doubles side.
"Cole Bennion was a really big leader for the younger kids and I was around Cole the whole time so the kids look at me as a leader," Lunzman said. "I try to set the best example for them and help them because they're the future of Jamestown High School tennis."
Junior Isaac Mimong will be the next experienced player for the Jays after playing the sixth singles and third doubles slot as a sophomore.
"Isaac is a hard worker that's always pushing himself and pushing the other kids around him," Edens said. "He played some tennis over the summer and you can tell from what he's doing now."
Sophomore Ryder Pringle played in the second singles spot to open 2017 but injuries took away a lot of his season. Edens said that Pringle was also injured in the Jamestown Youth Open last weekend so he hasn't seen much court time yet.
Kaden Williams, a sophomore, also bounced around the fifth and sixth singles spot during his freshman year.
Jamestown qualified for the state tennis tournament last fall as a team and sent Mullowney, Hatlewick, and the doubles team of Lunzman/Bennion individually.
Jamestown has been working on tennis fundamentals with two practices a day since Monday. Eden will work on getting his lineup set for the upcoming Minot Duals on Aug. 24 with challenge matches today and Monday, Aug. 20.
"We lost a lot of great players like Cole Bennion, Connor Mullowney and Baylee Hatlewick but we'll be just fine," Lunzman said. "We have a lot to work to do, since we're a younger team."