Steamboat boys tennis fills varsity roster for first time in years |

Steamboat boys tennis fills varsity roster for first time in years

Liam Siefken, a sophomore on the Steamboat Springs boys tennis team plays in the No. 1 doubles match during a home competition against Rocky Mountain High School in 2021. The boys tennis team began their 2022 season on Aug. 18 in a 6-1 loss to Grand Junction Central.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Steamboat Springs boys tennis program has constructed its largest team in recent memory. In the past, only eight or nine players have competed in the sport that needs 11 to field a full varsity team. 

This year, 13 players have joined the program and even expanded it into a junior varsity team, but with the higher numbers comes a wider disparity in skill level. Some players have just picked up a tennis racket for the first time while others have multiple years of experience. 

The team has assembled a decently sized coaching staff, which is able to accommodate the various skill levels and helps split players up to focus on individual areas of need. 

Coach Jason Scicchitano is in his first year but saw the positive strides the team made last season. He hopes to capitalize off the previous success and re-create the energy that surrounded the team last year. 

“I really hope this year can live up to last year’s determination and grit, and I think they are,” Scicchitano said. “They have such an interest in getting better, so I’m hoping we can surpass last year’s team but it might take a year to build them up to that.”

The team struggled in the first match of the season against Grand Junction Central on Thursday, Aug. 18. Some players were absent from the trip, making it difficult to get a true assessment, as the Sailors were defeated 6-1 by the Warriors. 

“Our outdoor courts are under construction so the boys have only practiced indoors, and being higher up, it’s a little cooler, so going down to Grand Junction and playing outside, it was 97 degrees and the boys have not played outside all season,” Scicchitano said. “First time outside, the sun absolutely drained them.” 

The team followed that up with a trip to Fruita to compete in the Fruita-Monument tournament. While the tournament has little bearing on seeding for regionals, Scicchitano said it was an important experience for his players. 

The team lost all four matches, but Scicchitano is optimistic about the group moving forward. 

He has seen each player’s weaknesses and knows what needs to be fixed before the next match on Friday, Aug. 26, at Loveland. 

Most high school teams do not have tennis pros as coaches, so the Sailors get the unique opportunity to learn from Scicchitano, who is the head tennis pro at the Steamboat Tennis and Pickleball Center. 

Scicchitano said he loves coaching a young team because, after some technical training, he is confident Steamboat will be really strong in a couple years. 

“I really want to keep this team full in terms of numbers,” Scicchitano said. “I want everyone to have a good time, and I think they’re already doing a great job of being laid back and making friends, but I want them to extend that to any kids in the school who might have an interest in joining the team. This team is for everybody.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.