Oct. 3, 2013
BEAUMONT – Head coach Scott Shankles and his Lamar men’s tennis team will be making their home debut this weekend as five schools will make the trek to Thompson Family Tennis Center for the inaugural Ron Wesbrooks Invitational, which is set to begin on Friday and run through Sunday.
The tournament, named for the legendary LU coach, offers one of the more unique formats in collegiate men’s tennis as individuals will participate in pool play prior to the final day of matches, which will ensure that each participant will get a chance to play four singles matches.
“We’re looking forward to hosting our only fall tournament, and I think it’s going to be a fun event,” Shankles said. “It’s a different format than what we usually play, and I think it’s a good way to get our team ready for the ITA Regionals in a couple weeks. It’s also a way to honor a great guy in Coach Wesbrooks.”
“He’s been a big part of this school and this community,” Shankles continued. “He means a lot to our program. The guys all know Coach Wesbrooks, and they understand and appreciate the experience and knowledge that he has.”
Eight Cardinals are set to feature, including three that will be making their Red and White debut, beginning with true freshmen in Michael Feucht of Germany and Jeandre Hoogenboezem of South Africa. Juuso Laitinen, a sophomore out of Finland, will also play in his first career LU event after sitting out last season.
Also competing will be Mikko Rajamaki, All-Southland honoree Carl-Philip Lindqvist and a pair of Texans in Houston native Steven McMullan and Beaumont West Brook graduate Trey Crysel.
“This is a great way for our guys to get a lot of matches in,” Shankles said. “Four of the guys haven’t played in a fall tournament yet, so I’m sure there might be some nerves out there. I think we’re going to do well, and it should be fun.”
Fellow Southland members Nicholls and Incarnate Word will bring teams to the event as well as former conference foes Texas-Pan American and UTSA. Reigning junior college national champion Tyler Junior College will round out the tournament field.
Matches are set to begin at 9:00 a.m. on Friday with a doubles round before starting up with singles, which will begin at 10:30 a.m. and run for the rest of the day.