Trinity Lutheran hires new tennis coach


Three days before the team’s first practice July 27, Clayton Engel received a phone call from Trinity Lutheran High School.

Engel had expressed interest in coaching the boys tennis team, and the school had also felt that he would be a good fit.

On Sept. 30, Engel took the reins. This fall, Engel will lead the Cougars on the courts.

Engel, a Lanesville High School (2012) and Indiana University Southeast (2016) grad, assisted Immanuel Lutheran School’s team last fall. He said he moved to the area shortly after graduating college and getting married to his wife, Trisha, who teaches at ILS.

“This it the first time meeting the kids for the most part,” Engel said. “My goal for this year is to see improvement from the beginning of the season until the end.”

The Cougars have undergone some coaching changes over the past three years. Mark Voss led the team in 2014, ‘15 and ‘17, and Danny Frastaci coached the Cougars in ‘16.

While he is still learning all of the players’ individual games, Engel has been putting the team to work.

“Something we’ve been working on is ball placement,” Engel said. “I think that’s one of the most efficient ways to improve a team. Focusing on improvement of fundamentals is important, but that takes time and practice. That’s part of what we do, but we’ve been trying to improve on our mental game and ball placement.

“We normally warm up with some volleys and serves and then do some drills. Typically, we will then do practice matches until the end. It gives me an idea where they are at. We want to make it as close to the real thing as we can.”

Engel said he played tennis in high school and has played recreationally since graduating.

“I try to not focus on one kid too much since I have an entire team here,” he said. “I will fill in sometimes if that seems to make sense, especially with some of our more developed players that need more of a challenge.”

Engel has enjoyed working with the kids at Trinity.

“Something I have noticed is the kids have great attitudes and work ethics,” Engel said. “I’m going to enjoy that. I think that’s something special. It makes it a lot easier for someone in my position.”

Outside of coaching, Engel is the branch manager at M&M Office Products in Seymour.

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