Trinity boys tennis hosts banquet and awards

It was an evening filled with celebration on Thursday in the Trinity Lutheran High School cafeteria.

The boys tennis team held its annual banquet and awards to speak about the 2023 season.

Head coach Brad Emerson spoke about his first season at the helm of the Cougars.

“I thought it was a good winning season. We beat some quality teams and had a few matches we should’ve won,” he said. “We brought in a new philosophy and coaching style. The guys just had to get used to it. It took some time, but these kids bought into it, and I can’t thank them enough for that.”

The team ended the regular season with an 11-9 record and was defeated by Scottsburg in the sectional.

It also was the final season for two players, Solomon Hall and Drew Kerkhof.

Emerson spoke about both of them after the banquet was over.

“It’s hard to replace a solid No. 1 like Solomon. He lost the spot at the beginning of the season and worked hard to get it back. He never gave up, and it’s hard to replace that,” Emerson said.

“Drew played soccer for the first three years but decided to come out and play this year,” Emerson said. “He had previously helped with the girls tennis team. We had Drew play on the doubles team with our other tall guy in Will (Gausmann). They lost and won some close matches, but they got better as the season went on.”

A Trinity Lutheran tennis duo also made history in 2023 with Nathan Finke and Jonathan Neawedde becoming the first players to advance in the sectional. Both of them were awarded an outstanding achievement plaque for their season.

The coach had a few words about the accomplishment.

“That is something they can never take away from you guys. The first to ever do it in Trinity history is special,” Emerson said. “I hope it’s something we can continue to build on. In the tournament, they played lights out. We started out a little slow, but we caught fire, and that set them apart. Just a great season for those two. They ended with a record of 12-6.”

Trinity also accomplished something as a team. The Cougars strived to be excellent in the classroom, and it paid off. The team received the IHSAA academic all-state award because everyone on the team met the required standards.

Trinity Lutheran will now prepare for the 2024 season.


MVP: Solomon Hall

Most Improved: Luke Schepman

Senior Award: Solomon Hall

Cougar Award: Jack Stuckwisch

Outstanding Achievement: Nathan Finke and Jonathan Neawedde