• 66°

High school boys tennis: Carson rebuilding, but still winning

By Mike London
mike.london@salisburypost.com

CHINA GROVE — Carson tennis is heading for its second straight winning season.

It’s taken a team effort after the Cougars lost standouts Luke Sides and Hunter Smith from the 2018 team that finished second in the North Piedmont Conference. Sides, county co-player of the year, and Smith won about 75 percent of the time at No. 1, No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles. Three almost automatic wins aren’t easy to replace.

“We lost two outstanding players and we’ve only got one senior on our roster,” Carson coach Josh Trexler said. “I’m really pleased what we’ve been able to compete as well as we have in a rebuilding year.  Depth has been the key. On any given day, any of our top five could beat each other.”

Carson (6-4, 5-2) won against Statesville on Thursday and won’t finish lower than third in the NPC. The Cougars lost to first-place South Iredell and West Rowan the first time around. If they can beat West at home next Tuesday, they can split with the Falcons and tie for second place.

Like a lot of Carson’s faculty, Trexler went to East Rowan High. He was a football and track and field athlete in high school and he’s a veteran football assistant at Carson. He was the coach who led the Cougars last fall when Joe Pinyan stepped down with two games left.

Trexler went to Campbell University and is a social studies teacher. He teaches U.S. History and Human Geography classes.

Trexler was a tennis novice when he took the reins of the Cougars, but he’s learned a lot on the job during the last six seasons.

“I hadn’t played tennis since middle school, but I was fortunate that when I became Carson’s tennis coach we were playing the Cabarrus schools in the South Piedmont Conference,” Trexler said. “There were a lot of strong programs in that league and experienced coaches were willing to share their knowledge.”

Last season, Trexler coached the Cougars to a 9-6 record, their first winning season in a number of years.

Carson has a junior-heavy team. Nine of the 13 on the roster are in the junior class, including No. 1 seed Jacob Horner.

“Jacob has played tennis his whole life, and it shows,” Trexler said. “He’s our most consistent player.”

Avery Paschal is a third-year player and the Cougars’ only senior. He plays No. 2 singles.

The No. 3 seed for Carson is Ethen Fesperman, one of the county’s most well-rounded individuals. Fesperman plays soccer. He also excels in major bass fishing tournaments and masonry competitions.

“He’s involved in a lot of things, so he doesn’t pick up a racket until the season starts,” Trexler said. “But he’s good.”

A lot of Carson’s wins have come from the bottom three seeds — No. 4 seed Cameron Dunn (who plays No. 1 doubles with Horner), No. 5  seed Nathaniel Kimball, who also swims for the Cougars, and either Thomas Bost or Andrew Beaver at the No. 6 spot.

Lately, it’s been Beaver, the jayvee football kicker, but even when he’s been out of the singles mix, Bost has formed an effective No. 3 doubles tandem with Kimball.

“Bost is our drum major and for a first-year tennis player he’s been really good,” Trexler said.

It’s all added up to a surprisingly strong season for the Cougars.

“It’s been fun and we’ve had a pretty consistent year,” Trexler said. “Hopefully, all the guys on the team will play tennis for a long time. This is a life-sport. It doesn’t take 11 guys to play it — and you don’t need shoulder pads.”

Comments

Granite Quarry

Granite Fest makes a comeback with music, vendors and fun for kids

Education

State budget process could mean big gains or loss of funding for schools

Business

Biz Roundup: Downtown Salisbury vying for $25,000 cash prize

Kannapolis

Kannapolis native serves as a member of U.S. Navy’s ‘Silent Service’

Local

Snyder promoted to deputy city clerk

Crime

Woman arrested for flashing rear end at Sheriff’s Office after previous charges overturned

Lifestyle

Hall wins bronze medal in SilverArts

Clubs

Harold B. Jarrett American Legion Post 342 holds 75th anniversary celebration

Business

Salisbury-based Integro Technologies acquired by Kaman Distribution Group

Lifestyle

World War II veteran, longtime Rowan County farmer, celebrates 100th birthday

Local

Rowan commissioners will discuss body cameras for bailiffs, arrowhead donation, plumbing fix for lead levels

Business

Downtown move gives Salisbury Eyecare and Eyewear chance to expand offerings, add new doctor

Nation/World

Clinton recovering from infection 

Crime

Teen charged in shooting at Mount Tabor High School held without bond

Nation/World

Marine officer receives reprimand for Afghanistan criticism

Elections

Beasley top fundraiser in third quarter for Senate race

Farm & Garden

Nearly 1-ton pumpkin sets record at state fair

High School

High school football: Loeblein throws record six TD passes for Falcons; Cavs, Hornets romp

Nation/World

UK lawmaker stabbed to death in terrorist act

Crime

Cooleemee man arrested after trading gunfire with Davie County investigators in Rowan

Elections

Salisbury council candidates list crime reduction, hiring a new city manager among city’s top priorities

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with trio of vehicle break-ins

Coronavirus

Catawba College will require COVID-19 vaccinations in 2022

Local

City selects Sada Stewart Troutman as new Downtown Salisbury Inc. director