For Zach Williams, the 2020 season was one he was certainly waiting for. A superstar top singles player, a do-everything kind of player and two other seniors that came on stronger each year.
The longtime Chaska boys tennis coach was sad to see it end, before it even started.
“This senior group will be a tough loss for our program as a whole. All four of them were major varsity contributors. All of them have been in the program for at least four years, if not longer, so it will be a tough transition going into next season without having them around,” Williams said.
Nick Pries has been in the line-up in one shape of form for the better part of five seasons. It was his sophomore year, alongside former Hawk Ian Altenburg, where Pries really took a step forward. Chaska had a good hold on winning points at No. 1 and 2 singles.
Pries was at the top of the singles line-up last year, and would have been again as a senior.
“Nick’s tennis game speaks for itself when he walks on to the court. His skill set is all-around fantastic and each time he strikes the ball you know he is going to be a tough shot to handle,” Williams said. “Nick is one of the more dominant singles players that has come through Chaska during my time here and losing Nick will also be a big hole to fill.”
Put Zed Teh in singles and he would fight for every point. Put Zed Teh in doubles and he made the player with him better. A consistent varsity contributor for four seasons for Chaska.
Teh was one of the team’s two captains this season along with Derek Wendland.
“Zed is a fantastic leader in a number of ways. Zed loves the game of tennis and is very committed to the team. He always provides good input for the guys and knows his role well. Zed is always looking for ways to improve himself as a player and always thinking what’s best for the team. Zed will continue to do great things in the next stages to come,” Williams said.
Wendland stood out as a junior in doubles. Whoever played with him enjoyed having him on his team.
“Derek is such a positive leader on our team, it’s contagious. Derek leads by example on the court for all players by his work ethic and respect for the game. Derek will continue to lead in the next stages after high school,” Williams said.
Mitchell Wolf had an extremely competitive side to him which Williams loved to coach.
“He has been very versatile at playing both singles and doubles for many years. Mitchell has been in our varsity line-up the past couple years and with his competitiveness, leads by example on the court,” the coach said.
SIX YEARS IN THE PROGRAM
Chanhassen boys tennis had just one senior on the roster this season, but it was someone, Theo Kakacek, with six years of experience in the program.
Head coach Jim Mason said Kakacek was a captain with “great leadership skills.”
Mason noted a high maturity level in his four years at Chanhassen High School.
“He would have been a key factor in our doubles line-up,” he said.
Additionally, Kakacek taught tennis to the youth in the community during in the summer tennis program.