PolyAnne Butler is entering her first season as head coach of the Gig Harbor Tides’ boys tennis team. She previously coached at Charles Wright Academy and has coached the Gig Harbor girls for the past three years.
Butler said wins are the expectation but not the focus.
“Of course I would like a winning season,” she said. “But more than that, I’ve seen them just already improve and become better players and gentlemen out there, and grow in sportsmanship.”
As far as wins go, Butler said one of the team’s biggest goals is to beat Olympia and Bellarmine Prep, two traditionally strong programs that should provide a good early season test for the Tides.
Gig Harbor will need strong play from senior captain Drew Lawson, who will play on the No. 1 doubles team with junior Mason Jarvis. Lawson won his first two games at the Class 4A West Central District tournament last year but lost in the third game. He expects better play this year.
“I can improve on my footwork and also a consistent first serve,” Lawson said. “I want to win state, so I’m looking to do that with my partner.”
Butler said Lawson’s high expectations are realistic.
“I really think they (Lawson and Jarvis) have a chance to go to state together,” Butler said. “They’re very talented.”
As a doubles team, Lawson said they want to improve throughout the year and compete in the postseason.
Tides junior Patrick Spieker, also a team captain, is making the transition from doubles to singles this year.
“I’m really liking it so far,” he said. “I’m hoping to keep up the work going into the season.”
Spieker said he will need to improve on his footwork and backhand in order to have a successful year. He also said the team is looking for improvement across the board.
“The team’s goal is ultimately to get better,” Spieker said. “We have a lot of guys out here who maybe don’t have a ton of experience, but they’re tremendously hard workers, and they want to get better every day, and that’s what tennis is all about.”