It is still in its early stages as a club team.
The Bunsold Middle School girls tennis squad, however, hopefully will become a full-fledged school sport in a year.
A total of 13 girls in grades 7-8 are competing on a team that will play 10 matches during the 2017 fall season.
The Lady Monarchs began their campaign on Monday with a 4-1 victory over Big Walnut.
The team is beginning its season on a sad note as Josh Huffman, who helped coach the team a year ago, died this past spring after a battle with cancer.
Huffman helped John Merriman form the squad as a club sport in 2016. Merriman will coach the team this fall. Program officials hope that it can become a school-sponsored sport beginning with the 2018 season.
“I talked to Josh last spring and it was thought that his cancer was in remission,” said Merriman. “In April, he asked me if I would coach the team. Four days later, he passed away.”
Merriman is certainly no stranger to local tennis circles.
The former teacher, coach and administrator in several area school districts, previously coached in both the Marysville High School boys and girls tennis programs. Years ago, he also served as the tennis coach at Fairbanks High School.
The Lady Monarchs will host the inaugural Josh Huffman Memorial Tournament on Sept. 6 (beginning at 9 a.m.) at the Marysville High School courts.
The tournament was the brainchild of MHS varsity head coach Bill Romine.
Teams invited to play in the doubles-match format include Dublin Davis, Dubin Karrer, Dubin Grizzell, Delaware Dempsey and New Albany.
“There will be three divisions of competition,” said Romine. “We will play down to champions in each division.”
Proceeds from the tournament will help create a scholarship for any Marysville High School senior girls tennis player.
It will also help fund lessons for any Lady Monarch tennis player outside of the school activity.
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