Parker's Garey, Buck set for state tennis
JANESVILLE--Nick Garey had a lot to lose going into this boys tennis season.
Sixty-five pounds, to be exact.
The Janesville Parker High senior was listed at 255 pounds during the fall football season, when he played both on the offensive and defensive lines for the Vikings.
He did not need to be 255 pounds as part of the No. 1 doubles team this spring.
Now 65 pounds lighter, Garey and his playing partner, Sam Buck, hope to throw their weight around, as well as their experience, when they open WIAA Division 1 boys state tennis tournament play Thursday afternoon at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.
Garey and Buck take a 14-9 record into their opening doubles match against Noah Bloedorn and Kurtis Larson of Kenosha Indian Trails at 1:30 p.m. at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
Parker High coach Mike Fuhrmann says Garey’s experience in doubles should be an advantage.
“This will be Nick’s 95th doubles match,” Fuhrmann said. “There is something to be said about that. You don’t hear that happening that often.”
Garey has played at No. 1 doubles all four years. When last year’s No. 1 playing partner, Austin McDonald, graduated, Fuhrmann had to find someone to join Garey for this season.
Buck stepped up after playing No. 3 doubles last year. Fuhrmann was concerned that the jump from No. 3 to No. 1 would be too much to handle. He was able to exhale after the first few weeks of practice.
“Sam picked it up quite quickly,” Fuhrmann said. “That’s quite a jump in the speed of the game, but Sam made the adjustment.”
Buck is tall and athletic and has a nice serve, Fuhrmann said.
He has fit perfectly with Garey, who has a huge serve that has become more consistent this season.
His ace against Verona gave the Parker team the sectional victory that put it into the state tournament.
“Both Nick and Sam are good returners,” Fuhrmann said. “Against Verona, there was one set when they broke them every time they served.”
Garey and Buck open state tournament play against a team that was put together late in the season. Bloedorn and Larson played most of the year at No. 1 and 3 singles, respectively, and take a 9-3 record into Thursday’s match.
Fuhrmann thinks his team’s experience will be an advantage.
“Nick has 95 matches,” Fuhrmann said. “Nobody in the tournament has that much experience. It’s pretty impressive.”
Just as impressive as his weight loss.