BIG RAPIDS – It’s a great time to be playing tennis, right?
Big Rapids Cardinal tennis coach Austin Brinker thinks so.
The girls spring season was canceled with the COVID pandemic, and there were major restrictions for many weeks on what athletes could or couldn’t do.
With some restrictions having been gradually lifted, especially when it comes to outdoor sports, Brinker has been having boys and girls tennis players at Hemlock Park for the past two weeks.
“We’ve been doing Mondays and Wednesdays for girls and Tuesday and Thursdays for the boys,” Brinker said. “We’re getting them to hit stuff and try to take some of the rust off. We’re getting better at improving instead of being complacent not doing a whole lot. We’ve got a little bit of stuff going on.”
The times for the workouts are 3:30 to 5:30 each day.
The high school courts are currently under construction as part of a bond issue.
“Right now they tore up all the courts all the fencing, asphalt, everything,” Brinker said. “They’re going to put a new foundation on and they’re going to build eight courts for us.”
There have been seven courts before, which Brinker notes has been a problem for matches because of four singles and four doubles flights. One of the flights has to start later.
The new courts will alleviate this problem. The eighth court be located near where the bleachers have been located.
There will still be bleachers for spectators.
Brinker said the courts usually take between two to three months to build. It might take until the end of October.
“Right now, I’m planning on having the (fall) season over at Hemlock,” Brinker said.
The fall boys tennis schedule is filled and there are two home dates, Brinker said, where Big Rapids will use Ferris State (at racket facility) and Hemlock courts for now.
“I think we have a good chance to play a fall season for most of the sports,” he said.