Women’s Tennis Recieves New Coach, Again

Maggie Fisher, Staff Writer

The Minneapolis South High Women’s Tennis team switched to a new coach this fall, Loren Aldrich, someone who has never coached a tennis team, or girls before. Although Aldrich may be inexperienced in coaching competitive tennis, his passion for the sport isn’t new. He’s taught community league tennis for 22 years and has captained an adult tennis team for ten years. Aldrich had been wanting to pass on his knowledge and coach competitively for 24 years. So when his wife, a South High teacher, received an email that the Women’s Tennis Team needed a new coach he recalls thinking, “This would be an interesting opportunity and I’d love to give it a try”.

“I’m learning,” explained Loren Aldrich, “There’s a learning curve and I think it’s going well”.

For many team members this isn’t the first time they’ve experienced a change in the coaching staff. For the second year in a row the girls are learning how to adapt to a new coach.

“We already had a new coach last year and once again we’re having a new coach, so it kinda sucks for us” said Senior Captain Marisa Skelley.

Another difficulty the tennis team had was adjusting to Aldrich’s lack of experience with the high school format. Normally the team plays all the city teams and then some suburban teams as well. This year they are only playing the city teams.

“He doesn’t really know how high school tennis works, like we’re only signed up for 6 matches” Senior Tessa Belo explained.

Although making the transition to organizing and coaching a team of eleven high school girls was hard, Aldrich has good intentions and ideas to help the team.

“He likes to think of practical things to help us out,” said Skelley, “he bought us all new grips for our tennis rackets, sweatbands, and stuff like that, and it was out of his own pocket, he’s definitely a caring guy”.

“He wants us to succeed and have a good time” echoed Belo.

“I want the girls to enjoy it, have fun, to learn, and if they can win some matches along the way, that’s great,”  Aldrich said about his coaching philosophy. “But what I’m doing is trying to have them put forth their best effort each match”.