North heads into tennis with veteran squad

North High boys tennis coach Jerry Diebel is feeling optimistic heading into the 2015 season.

"We are returning five seniors and have added one other 12th-grader," Diebel explained, adding that "most of them have had varsity playing experience."

The seniors are Colin Cassin, Marty Dinh, Andrew Gooder, Meipong Himmtann and Anthony Vang.

If there is a weakness in the North program, Diebel said it would be that "some of the players will be expected to play higher in the order than last season. This will provide them with a bigger challenge [because] they will be facing much better players."

Other returnees will be juniors Selam Bekele, who already has two years of varsity play under his belt, and Jesse Tretsven, who has a year of varsity experience.

The Polars will also be looking to make room for exchange student Takato Nakanishi.

Assisting with the North program this season will be coach Bill Raymond.

Diebel glanced at the Metro East Conference and pointed to

Mahtomedi and Henry Sibley as the teams most likely to end up battling for the top spot in conference play.

The Polars already have one hard-fought win to their credit when they stopped the Hill-Murray Pioneers, 4-3, on Tuesday, April 7.

Up next the North boys tennis team will be on the road on Friday, April 17 at Como Park; Monday, April 20 at Roseville, and Tuesday, April 21 at Hastings.

The Polars next home match will be Thursday, April 23 when they host the South St. Paul Packers.

The matches begin at 3:30 p.m.

With the uncertainty of the weather, there may be a need to reschedule games. Rescheduled contests may be found by going to Click on the school. Scroll to the sport, then click on "view" to see revamped schedules.

Wally Wakefield can be reached at or at 651-748-7820.

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