Gabe Matthias

Knoxville's Gabe Matthias.

KNOXVILLE — When the Knoxville boys tennis last competed on the hard court, they were posting a 6-2 record and a second place finish in the South Central Conference tournament two years ago.

The Panthers may have lost two players from that 2019 team but the good news is they have everyone else back. They will also host their own invitational and the SCC tournament this year.

Perry Bell enters his first season as head coach of the boys team with a big group of seniors in Gabe Matthias, Carter Short, Jaxon Zuck, Andy Orr and Nate Crane. Junior Grant Liston is likely to join the mix with those seniors as well.

Matthias (No. 2, 5-2 overall), Short (No. 4, 6-1 overall), Jaxson Zuck (No. 5, 2-5 overall), Crane (No. 6, 1-6 overall) and Orr (multiple spots, 1-2 overall) all saw time in the starting lineup in 2019 and will bring much needed experience after missing a year due to the pandemic.

With eight seniors on the squad, Knoxville will look for them to lead the way and bring along the younger guys who will give the Panthers some depth.

“The strength of our team is a veteran lineup of mainly seniors,” Bell said. “The letterwinners are a very talented group and our success rides with them. Another strength is the enthusiasm, these young men are ready to play some tennis.”

Colin Peters can be reached at 641-672-2581, by email at cpeters@oskyherald.com or on Twitter @ColinPetersOH.

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