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Coach of the Year

POSTED: November 8, 2012 1:00 a.m.
Mark McCoy/

Ellsworth High School girls' tennis coach Eric Anderson enjoys a point made by his number one doubles team early in the 2012 Lady Bearcat tennis season in Ellsworth.

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Eric Anderson, the head coach of the Lady Bearcat girls’ tennis team, was named the 3A-2A-1A girls’ Coach of the Year Oct. 30 by his peers in the Kansas Tennis Coaches Association.
   “I’ll tell you right now I’d trade it in a heartbeat for two more points and the third place plaque,” Anderson said. “This award should also go to my assistant, Brian Hutchinson. Without his help every day, our tennis team would not have been as successful.”
  The Lady ‘Cats placed fourth in the 20120 State Tennis Tournament with just three girls competing Oct. 12-15 in Hutchinson, just two points out of third place.
  “It is an honor, because it is voted on by the coaches. I think that we see the work that we put into it. But it’s not really me — it’s how the girls perform. I’ve been blessed with some good players,” he said.
  “This year we had a super-talented team and it kind of showed at the state meet. Last year, we didn’t even place and this year we placed fourth. I have to attribute our success to them.”
  Anderson, in his 14th season at the helm of the Lady ‘Cat tennis team, and was also named the 2009 boys’ 3A-2A-1A Coach of the Year. Anderson has coached the boys’ tennis team for nine years.
  During his tenure as the EHS tennis coach, the ‘Cats have qualified 21 different entries (singles/doubles) for state tournaments. Of those 21 entries, eight have medaled in the top 12.
  The highest team finish on the boys’ side was in 2009 (seventh place) with Gabe Paull, Ryan Manes, Tyler Peterman, and Jordan Seitz. The highest team finish on the girls’ side was this season with Rachel Herzog, Julia Hood, and Ashley Sippel.
  “Next year will be a challenge,” he said. “When we were coming home from Hutch, I told the girls ‘two of us graduate, but four of us return — it’s time to bring home one of those plaques. It’s never been done on the girls’ side. So it’s time for us to put one of those babies in the trophy case’.”
  The Bearcat boys’ tennis team placed third in 1992, bringing home a trophy.
  “I really think that is a well-deserved honor,” said Central Plains tennis coach Gary Bittner. “I’ve watched Eric work with the program now for a number of years and they seem to be taking steps in the right direction.
  “Really, they are on the verge of developing an elite program over there.”

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