Brinker making debut as girls head tennis coach


BIG RAPIDS — Austin Brinker coached the Big Rapids boys tennis team in the fall and is making his debut as the girls skipper this spring.

Brinker was the assistant to Larry Langell last season and said they have switched positions for the boys girls team this year.

The Cardinals got in a week of practice March 9-13 before the MHSAA suspended the season from the coronavirus.

“We were actually able to get into the racquet center a couple of times to practice,” Brinker said. “We were able to practice a couple of days outside. Unfortunately on that Thursday (March 12) we were supposed to have a scrimmage with Cadillac and Ludington. This got canceled. We were able to get some challenge matches and have an idea on what our lineup was going to be. We were trying to see how many girls we had.”

Brinker said the girls were disappointed upon hearing the news of the season’s suspension.

“There’s still some that wanted to play, but they understood we had to exercise precaution,” he said. “Compared to the last couple of years, we had quite a few girls put in the work in the offseason. I told them to keep playing during break if they can, and hopefully our season will continue. I told them to be optimistic and hopefully everything will work out.

“We talked in the offseason and our goal is to win conference and make it out of regional and to the state tournament as a team for the first time since 2015. We’ve had a five-year break there. But that’s been the team goal since the end of last year.”

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