STORM LAKE - Two things could take Storm Lake a long way this upcoming tennis season.
Desire and dedication.
Those two words will be synonymous with the success of the girls season this spring.
"I think for the varsity players it will be their dedication and desire," said first-year coach Craig Edmundson. "I see a lot of that. The upper level players have taken it upon themselves to put in extra training and hitting time whenever they can. I've really been impressed with the leadership of the group."
Storm Lake returns Michelle Bowman and Christina Brink as its top two players. Sue Ellen Diaz, Tonya Johnson, Fong Inthakone and Natalie Gamache are all candidates to fill the top six positions in the varsity lineup.
Several other players show a great deal of potential, but Edmundson hasn't seen what they can do on the tennis court.
Diaz and Bowman are the team captains this season.
"They've really been pushing the conditioning for themselves and will do extra hitting after practice," Edmundson said. "I see a lot of desire on their part to put together a successful season."
Edmundson discussed the goals he has for his team.
"As a first-year coach, I want to see every player improve," he said. "I'm at a disadvantage at not being able to talk to last year's coach, so I'm depending on this year's players to set their own goals and meet them. I want to see improvement as we move on through April and into May."
There's some concerns that Edmundson has heading into the season.
"The biggest question mark is individual attention," he said. "At one point, we had 37 girls signed up for tennis. Now we have 26. About half of them are lacking in experience, so the biggest concern I have right now is being able to spread myself equally between the experienced and inexperienced players."
Edmundson talked about his personnel.
" I think we have a strong, dedicated group," he said. "We have a lot of varsity players who have the leadership ability for the younger players to use. Overall, I see this as a dedicated team. It will not surprise me to hear that they put some time in on the court on the weekends."
Storm Lake's success ultimately comes down to two things.
"I think above anything else, our main factor is going to be the desire and dedication of the players," Edmundson said. "I think a lot of our success will depend on how players work on their skills outside of practice and how often they do that."
"I'm looking forward to a successful season," he added. "We're going to measure our success at the end of the season by how we have improved as a team."