Coaches Report: State recap with tennis HC Scott DeLorme
The Minot High School boys tennis team secured a fifth place finish at the 2020 state tournament. The three-day competition was held in Grand Forks from Oct. 8-10.
During individuals, Minot’s Zach Diehl recorded a pair of match wins in the consolation bracket before losing to the eventual fifth place finisher Ryder McDonald of Grand Forks Central on the final day of the tournament.
The Minot Daily News asked Magician head tennis coach Scott DeLorme for his thoughts on the tournament, some of the main highlights, and the overall direction of the program heading into next season. Here is what DeLorme had to say via email.
What were your expectations heading into state, and did your club meet those expectations?
DeLorme: Heading into the state tournament, we always want to win that first round matchup to get into the top four, but Fargo Davies played really well. For this team to come back and win the next two matches to take fifth I think was a very good accomplishment for them, and we played well to do it. We only have two seniors, so we have a lot to be excited for in the coming years.
What were some of Minot’s biggest highlights from the tournament?
DeLorme: I think Ridge Jaeger had an outstanding final two weeks. We relied on him in many cases to go win a singles match and he went 6-0 in singles over the last two weekends of the team portion. We definitely ran into some different areas of diversity, and we were put into a position to play 10 different guys throughout the regional and state tournament. The way all of our guys supported each other and stepped up to win big matches was a huge positive, and something we can build on in the future.
In your opinion, which players had the biggest impact on the team?
DeLorme: We have nice depth, but when it was all said and done, our top three have been great for us this year. They have not only played good tennis all year, but have been awesome teammates, and huge supporters of the younger kids on the roster. They have made sure everyone feels included, and it’s been a big step in the long term success of our team this season.
Talk About Zach and his great performance in the consolation bracket, what allowed him to perform at a high level?
DeLorme: Zach is incredibly talented. He has so much natural athleticism and it’s getting him to believe in himself. When he does, he’s capable of competing with the majority of players in this state and it showed this afternoon as he won a couple matches to continue his state tourney on the consolation side. Hopefully he can continue to build on that confidence as we look for him to have a huge senior season for us at the top of our lineup.
How did this new era of social distancing affect the overall competition in Grand Forks?
DeLorme: From the players perspective, the social distancing didn’t affect the tennis a whole lot. The hardest part was having to limit fans and not allowing extended family into the facility to support each other. The players just wanted to compete this fall, and we are so fortunate we were able to do that and proud of the way the players stepped up to protect both themselves and their teammates.
Looking ahead to next season, discuss the overall direction of the tennis program
DeLorme: We are extremely excited about where we are headed. Over the last two weekends, we had two seniors, but we also had 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th graders rostered. We have a very nice nucleus coming back, and great numbers and depth in the program. Our biggest issue is getting these kids to continue to play competitively when the season ends, and we hope to put some plans in place to not only play competitive, but also hopefully continue to fine tune their strokes. We know what we are capable of, but we need to continue putting the time in to get to that next level at the state tournament.
How long have you been the head coach at Minot, and what is the most enjoyable aspect of your job?
DeLorme: I have been the head coach of both the boys and girls program since the fall of 2009. I have been extremely fortunate to have fantastic coaching staffs to work with and players who have bought into the programs. There is no doubt winning is fun, but the long term relationships you build with players has to be one of the most enjoyable things. Having players who are five, six and seven years removed from high school are still wanting to stay involved is something that will always be the best part of the job. Every team is unique and every team leaves an impression that is missed year after year.