Slowly but sure, Mike Moffitt has been building the Notre Dame-West Burlington boys tennis team into a force to be reckoned with in southeast Iowa.
This year, with three returning seniors, a talented sophomore and three first-year players ready to commit to the game, the Nikes have a chance to not only make some noise, but do some damage in the postseason.
Moffitt is optimistic this could be the Nikes' best year ever.
"This is going to be the most talented group since I've been coaching," said Moffitt, who is entering his sixth season as head coach. "We should be solid one through six, with a couple kids battling for that No. 6 spot. We are still working on doubles. With the weather our practice times have been limited. I am still trying to figure out how to pair them up."
Leading the way for the Nikes thus far are seniors Daniel Crooks, Masin Shullaw and Jacob Fritz, with sophomore Travis Willis, also expected to be in the top six in singles. C.J. Dupuis, Quinn Koelker and Cole Williams also are pushing for spots in the top six, giving Moffitt plenty of talent and options to choose from.
Juniors Codell Scarborough, Colby Schenk, Brett Masters and Tyler Dameron and sophomore Dylan McElderry are also in the mix early on.
ND-WB, like other teams, has struggled getting practice time because of the weather. That also has slowed the progress of some of the newcomers, but Moffitt said the Nikes are making do the best they can.
"We've had to cancel several practices because it's either been snowing or raining. Shoquoquon only has one court to use indoors when the weather is bad, so that makes it toughm" Moffitt said. "This should be a fun season. We should be competitive with anybody."