Lake Ridge tennis primed to compete

Posted Monday, Sep. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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New programs sometimes have to measure their success against themselves.

So it is thus far with the Lake Ridge boys golf team. But that may not be the case for long.

Eagles head coach Scott Christensen said he has 19 players in the program, with another two still in football, but he’s seeing progress from last year’s campaign.

Lake Ridge has played one varsity tournament thus far and Christensen has set the same schedule as last season in order to compare progress against similar fields of competition.

“We played at Waterchase in our first tournament and our score was 369,” Christensen said. “Last year it was between 390 or even 400. We’ve dropped about 30 shots from last year,” he said. “Our kids are a year older and a year stronger and wiser. We’re shooting much better scores and we’re more knowledgeable about where we are on the course.”

Being a year older doesn’t mean the Eagles are senior-laden, though. Like last year, Lake Ridge has two seniors, but coaches are seeing the potential in a very strong sophomore class.

Carlos Headland is one of the seniors with definite potential, Christensen said.

“He’s had a solid summer, shooting in the 70s,” he said.

A junior making great headway is Parker Schkade. Schkade splits time with the baseball program and excels at both.

“He’s one I share with baseball,” Christensen said of Schkade. “He’s a solid athlete and even if he’s playing a half season of both, he could get likely get a scholarship either way. I’m fortunate to have him for a couple of tournaments, at least, in the spring,” Christensen said, adding that he hopes he can also work Schkade into the district and other postseason tournaments.

Nick Karnian is another of the promising sophomores. He was the lowest-shooting freshmen to play on varsity last year.

“He’s emerging as a class leader in a large sophomore class,” Christensen said. “By the end of year, he should be in the 70s. He can carry a lot of weight for the team.”

Other sophomores also adding to the promise of the Eagles are Chase Austin, Brighton Mica, Matt Neeley and Goose Evans.

“They’re beginning to mature a little bit,” Christensen said. “They practice when they’re out there on the course instead of just having a social hour. It’s neat to see the light going on, and they see that if they pay attention and work hard, they say, ‘We can be good and go far.’”

With the UIL dropping the number of tournaments a team can participate in this year, the Eagles will likely play four in the fall and three in the spring. Lake Ridge may pick up a dual with another Mansfield ISD or other 4A team to keep the playing time up without commanding too many days out of the classroom.

The next event for Lake Ridge is Oct. 27-28 in Horseshoe Bay. They will host their own event, The Texas Two Step, in early November. The event will be played at Tangle Ridge, Mansfield National and Southern Oaks.

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