Milford High won’t have boys tennis

Tennis anyone?

That call fell on deaf ears as far as any prospective boys players at Milford High School were concerned.

The Spartans administration, seeing only three student-athletes having any interest in playing boys tennis, cancelled the season recently.

The signs were there a year ago. The Spartans had only four players for an early season match a year ago, and had to default three ladder spots. In another, they just had five, but pulled out a win because the other team just had four.

But it was obvious something would have to change in the next year for the program to continue.

Last year’s team graduated four seniors, so if you just do the math, it was going to take a new wave of players to fill out a roster.

“Yes,”Milford athletic director Marc Maurais said. “We were concerned this was going to be the case as last year was difficult.”

Maurais said, after learning there were only three boys interested, that the decision was made in late February, because the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association and Milford’s scheduled opponents had to be informed by then.

Spartans boys coach Jean Marie Lambert would not comment, except in an email confirmed the news by writing “Sadly, Milford will not (be) fielding a boys team this year.”

Milford is the second area school to cancel its boys tennis season in the last year. Last spring, Wilton-Lyndeborough did the same thing and the Warriors aren’t fielding a team this year, either.

Will it stay this way for Milford? Right now, it looks that way. Maurais was asked if he knew of any interest at the younger levels (such as middle school), and he replied via email, “Not that I’m aware of.”

And the fact that this is year one of a two-year NHIAA scheduling cycle makes it even more difficult, he said.

“This is the first year of a two-year scheduling cycle so to get a match schedule, we will need to show a strong commitment from a large number of boys.”

In other words, the other schools and the NHIAA don’t want to see Milford try to get back on schedule only to have plans fall through and leave other Division II schools in the lurch.

Hollis Brookline, for example, appears to have picked up a second match with Bow to get a complete 14-match schedule. Other schools have done the same thing, playing another school twice, or will just play 13. Milford had been scheduled to face Windham in its opener next Monday, April 1.

“Anytime any sport is dropped at any level, it’s discouraging,” Hollis Brookline athletic director Rhon Rupp said.

“For us, we lose a local opponent but hope this is a temporary

situation.”

A lot of things will have to change for that to be the case.

Could this be a trend? Some coaches see it that way.

“It’s very disappointing,” one coach said, “as it is a lifetime sport.”

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