Before the snow fell, the Lakeland boys tennis team got some action in its first match of the season on a windy day.

Tuesday was the first match of the year against Wausau Newman. The Thunderbirds were looking for a fast start to the season. 

It was mission accomplished for the T-Birds, who swept doubles and split the singles matches to earn a 5-2 victory over the Cardinals at Oak Island Park.

No. 1 singles was a battle between Lakeland’s Dylan Harmalink and Nick Thums. Harmalink won handily by a score of 6-1, 6-1. 

No. 2 singles was a bit of a different story. Lakeland’s Gavin Thompson faced off against Peyton Heitz and lost 0-6, 4-6. He did put up a fight in the second set.

One of the great matches of the night came between Lakeland’s Riley Littleton and Jon Zeismer in No. 3 singles. Littleton lost the first set 2-6, but came back for a great win 7-5. The final set was taken by Zeismer 1-3.

In No. 4 singles, Lakeland’s Nathan Boedecker took on Ashton Butts in another fun match. This one went three sets with Boedecker taking the win 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.

“It was really, really windy, so for a first match it was tough, but they learned a lot about what they can and can’t do,” Lakeland coach Ted Dasler said. “Great experience overall.”

Doubles was a whole other opportunity for the Thunderbirds. No. 3 doubles were a forfeit, giving Lakeland a 1-0 lead in doubles. 

No. 1 doubles was a match between Lakeland veteran Tony Holmes and Zach Kane and Charlie Shields and Zong Cha Lo. Lakeland won the match 6-2, 6-3.

No. 2 doubles also had a senior laden group. Lakeland’s Alex Tucker and Aidan Graf took on Sam Beck and Andy Lor. Graf was the new guy in the double’s team. It was another victory for the Thunderbirds, 6-1, 6-0. 

One of the factors in the match was all the wind. Wind can make the ball act differently and play into the player’s mindset. Whoever handles it better, will have a better chance to succeed.

“Conditions favor the prepared, but if your attitude is I’ll take it and deal with it, you have a much better chance at success,” Dasler said.

The T-Birds were scheduled to host Pacelli on Thursday, though the status of that match was in doubt as of press time due to Thursday’s snowy forecast.

Even before the snow falls, Dasler put a positive spin on things.

“You just have to be optimistic,” he said. “It’s new snow, it’ll disappear very quickly.”

Next up, Lakeland travels to Antigo this coming Tuesday.

Brett LaBore may be reached at or