CHS tennis team gets an early-season assist

Chris Cowbrough
Staff Writer

An active winter has wreaked a little early season spring sports’ havoc on area high school teams, their fields, tracks, courts and courses.
Many fields are still covered in snow. The Colville High School tennis courts, blanketed in its winter cover one week earlier, are now snow free, thanks to an early-season conditioning program that had the CHS girl’s tennis team removing snow last week.
“We didn’t do a lot of hitting tennis balls last week,” conceded CHS tennis coach Phil Johnson. “But I’m happy to say that our courts are just about cleared (as of Monday).”
The snow removal effort was a collaborative project and process. The hard-packed early March snow had softened enough by last Thursday that Johnson was able to get a snowblower on the courts.

Volleys & shovels

“Last Friday I took advantage of the one clear court (there are four in the CHS complex) we had and worked on volleys,” Johnson explained.
Johnson’s new assistant coach, Dru Sanchez, worked on ground strokes with team members in the cafeteria.
“We continued to have the girls rotate through and shovel court two,” Johnson pointed out.
To support the snow clearing effort, two community members stepped up in a major way. Dave Kienbaum, a tennis father and owner of Colville Glass, brought his large snowblower to the courts and was able to remove a “significant amount of snow off a few courts on Friday while we practiced. He worked until it was dark, then came back on Saturday and cleared more snow,” Johnson said.
Colville Volunteer Fire Department member and training officer Ryan Power brought a few firefighters up to the courts on Saturday and that crew worked over the far courts on the complex with a fire hose.
Conditioning—and training.
“Ryan was able to use the opportunity to get some nozzle training for his volunteers, and at the same time, wash some of the snow off the courts,” Johnson added.
“I’ll tell you what, there are about 32 girls that are very appreciative of the efforts from Ryan and his crew and Dave Kienbaum and his snowblower. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate now and we can get some more tennis practice in before our first match next Wednesday.”