Ben White played tennis at the prep and collegiate levels, and he also has coached at a private school in Connecticut.
He hopes the knowledge he has gained in the sport helps him in his new job as coach of the Whitehall-Yearling High School boys tennis team.
White, a Spanish teacher at Whitehall, replaced Chris Kondracke, who resigned following last season after 10 years with the program.
"We have kids from every background in tennis, from people who know nothing to people who have taken lessons and are pretty good," White said. "It's going to be fun this year, but there's a lot of coaching."
The Rams opened April 9 against MSL-Cardinal/Ohio Division opponent West Jefferson.
"He definitely has a lot of knowledge about the sport," junior Aaron Miller said of White. "He's pretty skilled himself. He's very comfortable to be around. He's a very nice guy, very concerned."
White, 26, played tennis at Division III Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., and coached at Oxford Academy in Westbrook, Conn. He is a 2004 graduate of Westbrook (Conn.) High School and a 2008 graduate of Gettysburg.
White hopes the return of senior Seth Grassel makes a difference for the Rams this season.
Grassel was expected to play first singles last year, but he injured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee before the season and was unable to compete.
White expects junior Jiawen Zhen to play second singles and senior Huitzil Carlos, juniors Ahmed Abokor and Omar Tejada and freshman Stanley Butler to see time at third singles.
Miller and junior Ethan Miller, who are not related, will play first doubles, and senior Keith Lees and junior Brandon Mitchell will play second doubles.
"We really don't have a specific team goal," Aaron Miller said. "It's really just about getting as good as we can get and have fun because the epitome of Whitehall sports is to have fun."
Other players are senior Rudy Lopez, juniors Jacob Bennett, Houston Coleman and Mick Manley and sophomore Bryce Klabunde.
"I think we have a pretty decent varsity squad," White said.
Last season, the Rams finished 2-12 overall and sixth (4 points, 1-5) in the MSL-Cardinal/Ohio behind Columbus Academy (36, 5-1), Bexley (35, 6-0), Granville (23, 4-2), Fisher Catholic (19, 3-3) and Grandview (17, 2-4) and ahead of West Jefferson (2, 0-6).
"Matches against Bexley and Columbus Academy will be pretty difficult," White said. "I'm not sure we'll walk away from there with a point, but some of the other schools I believe are beatable."
Whitehall competed in a Division II sectional tournament last season, with 2012 graduates Henry Shilling and Mark Burris finishing 1-1 in doubles.
Wise pitches no-hitter for baseball team
After losing to Watkins Memorial 10-3 in its opener April 1, the baseball team bounced back to defeat Fairfield Christian 12-0 in five innings April 3 as sophomore Nick Wise pitched a no-hitter with six strikeouts.
Sophomore Cameron Baker had four hits and five RBI, and junior James Holley had three hits.
Junior Noah Jay had two hits, and senior Josh Horn and junior Myles Russell both scored four runs.
"We are happy to get that first win," coach Bill Welsh said. "Our bats are starting to come around and our pitching so far has been great. We are looking for more consistency defensively and that has been a focus for us, so hopefully that continues to improve."
Softball team wins first two games
The softball team opened the season by winning its first two games.
The Rams defeated Reynoldsburg 9-0 on March 30 and Fairfield Christian 11-1 in six innings April 1 before losing to Jonathan Alder 11-7 on April 4.
Against Fairfield Christian, Whitehall took a 5-0 lead in the second inning.
Summer Rains doubled twice and drove in a run.
Whitehall led Jonathan Alder 7-4 before the Pioneers scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth.