dThe girls tennis team at West Stokes High School has a new coach and an endless supply of enthusiasm going into its upcoming season.
Leah Bishop, a chemistry and physics teacher at West Stokes, has been named the new head coach for the girls tennis team. David Smith served as the head coach in years past and will remain the boys tennis coach for the 2016-2017 academic year.
This upcoming school year will be Bishop’s second year at West Stokes and is originally from Illinois.
Bishop brings a wealth of knowledge for the sport to the team, having played tennis all throughout her time in high school and intramural during college.
Bishop said that when she interviewed for her teaching position at the school, she asked if there was a tennis team and wanted to know if she could be a part of it, having helped out during last year’s season.
“We’re really wanting to improve on our foot work through a lot of agility training and footwork,” Bishop said, adding that the team uses cones during the agility training.
The team is currently comprised of seven girls, which Bishop said is a good number for her first year coaching the team due to the fact that the sport is hands on and that with seven players she will be able to dedicate enough time to each player.
“I definitely want to expand the team with the more coaching experience I get,” Bishop said.
Bishop explained that the school currently only has a varsity team, however she hopes to expand the team with a junior varsity team in the future. Bishop added that it’s frustrating for the freshman and sophomores who attend the school and have an interest in the sport, but aren’t able to compete on the team.
“I’ve only had them for a week and they’re already showing signs of improvement so I’m very pleased,” Bishop said, explaining that official practices started last week.
“They did very well,” Bishop said of the team’s performance last year.
Bishop explained that the composition of the team includes three players from last year on the team and she hopes that the veteran players will be able to assist the new players gain their footing in the sport.
Bishop said that the first match of the year is approaching quickly and will be next Monday. She added that the team typically plays two matches per week through October.