LAST SEASON: 14-5, 5-2 HHC
Won the Hancock County Tournament championship; lost to Mt. Vernon in sectional semifinals
PROJECTED LINEUP (with position, player, grade):
No. 1 singles — Brent Barrett (10)
No. 2 singles — Shayan Khokhar (11)
No. 3 singles — Connor Swain (11)
No. 1 doubles — Evan Poole (12)/Stratton Smith (12)
No. 2 doubles — David Thompson (10)/ Pete Rusche (11)
Head coach: Chris Hardin (7th season)
Outlook: It’s well known around New Palestine High School that Connor Swain is one of the top athletes roaming the halls, as more than one coach has attested to the junior’s physical gifts.
It shows the strength of the New Palestine tennis team that Swain — an All-Hoosier Heritage Conference selection in baseball and tennis as a sophomore — will start the 2012 season as merely the team’s No. 3 singles player.
“We have a pretty solid team,” New Palestine coach Chris Hardin said in a relatively bold statement for the mild-mannered seventh-year coach. “Whiteland is a pretty solid team, and I didn’t think we played as well as we could have against them.”
Hardin was referring to the Dragons’ 3-2 season-opening victory Tuesday on the road against the Warriors.
Swain scored the match’s decisive victory, surviving well into the evening to take a three-set win.