Anthony Paletta brought a new energy to the Whitehall-Yearling High School boys tennis team in the spring, and now he's hoping to provide that same enthusiasm to the girls program this fall.
Paletta replaced Darrin Green, who stepped down after one season.
"We're going to start from square one," Paletta said. "We're doing the basics right now, getting them up to speed. Just like we did with the boys, we want them to play with integrity whether they get their butts kicked or not."
The Rams return just one player from last season in senior Breonna Jarrells.
"Breonna has a pretty good forehand," Paletta said. "She is pretty competitive. I have a good sense of that for her."
Senior Chelsey Thompson returns after playing as a sophomore before opting not to compete last season.
"Chelsey is coming back with some experience, so she'll be a good team leader," Paletta said.
Thompson said she decided to return at the urging of sophomore Anna von Dolln, who is in her first season.
"I came back because my friend helped me get back in shape and she was going to join, so I joined," Thompson said.
"I haven't done this for a while, but I like being back on the court. It feels so good. ... Our team goal is to try our hardest every day and have fun. It's not always about winning."
Von Dolln said she joined the team at the urging of junior Ayrss Rodriguez, who also is in her first season.
"I'm looking forward to it," Rodriguez said.
The remaining players also are new to the team and have limited tennis experience.
Other players competing for spots include juniors Jennifer Duarte-Gonzalez and Deja Walton-Horton and freshmen Cynthia Gonzalez-Garcia, Leslie Gonzalez and Helen Mossisa.
"I like it more than soccer," said Leslie Gonzalez, who noted she has played tennis at the recreational level.
"We want to help each other out and don't give up."
Paletta is hoping to add players after school begins Monday, Aug. 20.
"We'll have a full varsity team," said Paletta, who is a social studies teacher at Whitehall.
"Once the school year starts, I'll get some more girls out of the woodwork. I'll start recruiting."
The Rams were 1-14 overall and 0-6 in the MSL-Ohio Division a season ago. They opened Aug. 14 against Westerville North and begin league play Aug. 28 at Bexley.
"I hope the people see that the tennis program is growing and it's going to be legit," Paletta said. "We have some great kids."
Chris Davis, who assisted Paletta with the boys team, also has joined the girls program as an assistant. She recently retired as women's coach at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
"We had Chris for boys, so now having Chris for girls is going to be helpful," Paletta said.
Aug. 14 -- at Westerville North
*Aug. 28 -- at Bexley
Aug. 30 -- at Buckeye Valley
*Sept. 4 -- vs. Grandview
Sept. 5 -- at Hartley
*Sept. 11 -- at Columbus Academy
*Sept. 13 -- vs. Wellington
*Sept. 18 -- at Worthington Christian
Sept. 24 -- at Canal Winchester
Below are the coming schedules for the Whitehall-Yearling boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Aug. 21 -- Home vs. Olentangy Berlin
Aug. 22 -- Home vs. London
Aug. 18 -- Home vs. Eastmoor Academy and Groveport
Aug. 20 -- At Liberty Union
Aug. 21 -- At Columbus West