The Inland Empire High School Tennis Tournament took place this weekend...April 27 & 28th in Spokane, Washington. This year the draw included 46 teams from Washington & Idaho and over 700 participants! This is argueably the largest HS tennis tournament in the U.S.
As always, the competition was fierce...no distinction was placed on the size of the school. Everyone had to compete equally. The challenge of a small school of, perhaps, 300 students competing against the massive "big-city" schools of 2500+ students can be daunting, to say the least, but this is the stuff dreams are made of.
I was supremely proud of our Sandpoint High School team...we competed at the highest level and took home our fair share of "hardware". In Sandpoint we have to compete not only against large school tennis programs, but against a multitude of other difficult obstacles: 1) the draw of Spring-Skiing at Schweitzer Mountain, 2) the endless supply of competing adventure activities such as snow-shoeing, mountain biking, mountain climbing, hiking, biking, ultimate frisbee. Sandpoint winter is definitely not something we dread. We have a "love-hate" relationship with the explosion of Spring in this town... and, 3) the fact that we are a town of only 7500 full-time residents...the available athletes have to chose between tennis, track, lacrosse, softball & baseball.
Even with these conflicts, Sandpoint rose to the occassion and played with the best of them! The great tennis community and the dedicated parents deserve all the credit. It is an honor to coach these kids and a true pleasure to be a part of the Sandpoint tennis fabric.
Honors: 1) Mens overall Champions @ 3rd Doubles, 2) Mens 2nd place overall @ 2nd singles, 3) Womens 2nd place consolation bracket @ 2nd singles. Sandpoint brought 16 athletes to the tournament and every one of them earned at least one victory! Way-to-go Sandpoint!