Skip to main content

Herriman Journal

Youthful Herriman boys tennis team growing up, overcoming challenges

Apr 09, 2024 10:13AM ● By Josh McFadden

Herriman’s Dylan Gonzalez, a No. 1 doubles player for the boys tennis team, is part of a young squad that looks for continual improvement throughout the season. (Photo courtesy Linda Richmond)

Any coach would like to have a team laden with experienced seniors mixed with underclassmen. The Herriman boys tennis team doesn’t have that luxury. 

This year’s squad is made up mostly of juniors and some younger players. But that doesn’t mean the Mustangs aren’t competing well. Head coach Linda Richmond is encouraged by the improvement of the boys. 

“Our juniors and underclassmen continue to grow and develop as excellent players,” she said.

The Mustangs began the season with a second-place finish at the Panther Duel in St. George. This strong performance showed Richmond and her players that they could be competitive and get wins against quality foes. However, Richmond isn’t focusing on a certain number of wins and losses or where the team places at tournaments. She measures success by growth and by how the players conduct themselves on and off the court. 

“We gauge our success on improvement,” she said. “We set goals individually and as a group. Our goals center on improvement and character.”

Herriman competes in Region 2 where it faces Corner Canyon, Mountain Ridge, Copper Hills, Bingham and Riverton. The players see some talented, skilled opposition at each match. Each match and each week present different challenges that the team needs to face and work to overcome. 

“We plan to continue setting goals on the court and off the court,” Richmond said. “As we have many teams at many different levels in our region, we plan to focus on adaptability and how do we adapt to meet different challenges.”

Herriman’s top player is Ethan Phelps, and he’s not even playing the same position he did a year ago. 

Last season, Phelps and his brother teamed up as a doubles tandem where they saw a lot of success and achieved some big wins. With his brother having graduated, Phelps has moved to No. 1 singles where he is providing leadership. 

“He was part of a winning doubles team,” Richmond said. “This year, he switched to singles, and he will have to change the style of his play. He is a great player and inspiration to the team.”

Even when things aren’t going the way they want, the Mustang players are supportive of one another. Richmond appreciates everyone’s attitudes and the efforts they make. Win or lose, the Mustangs do so as a team. These are qualities that Richmond loves about coaching the Herriman team. 

“This group of young men are a very cohesive group,” she said. “They cheer each other on yet are extremely competitive. I’m impressed about how much they inspire their teammates to improve upon their goals. It’s never about the individual but the group.”

Though Region 2 can be formidable and the Mustangs have a youthful team, these aren’t necessarily the biggest barriers and roadblocks. Richmond said Mother Nature presents plenty of trouble. 

“Our biggest challenge has been the weather,” she said. “Tennis courts have to be dry and clear to play, and spring sports present a special challenge in that area. Shoveling tennis courts is often our conditioning.”

After the regular season, Herriman will take part in the Region 2 tournament. This will determine which players qualify for the Class 6A state tournament which begins May 4 at Farmington High School and then continues May 9 and 11 at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. λ



Upcoming Events Near You

No Events in the next 21 days.