Woodstock Girls Again Tennis Title Contenders

Woodstock — Tom Hopewell figured he would step down from coaching the Woodstock Union High girls tennis team after his daughter, Sarah, graduated from the program. That was 16 years ago, and he still hasn’t relinquished the coaching reins.

“You teach your kids, your kids learn and you move on,” Hopewell said during Wednesday’s 7-0 victory over Rutland at the Woodstock Athletic Club. “I thought I’d finish up after she was done. … Not so much.”

His day job as WAC’s head tennis pro makes Hopewell available to his players on a year-round basis. Several of the Wasps engage in other sports or activities outside of spring, but some don’t stray far from the club, a location that serves as the team’s home venue.

Grace Frazier is the No. 2 singles player for Woodstock, which carries a 13-1 record into today’s home match with Bellows Falls, the Wasps’ last of the regular season. She normally plays four times a week during the offseason.

“(Hopewell’s) been my coach since second grade, so I’m with him all the time,” Frazier said. “It’s great; he’s the best coach. He’s honest with me, so if I’m doing something wrong, he tells me and he fixes it, improves everything.”

Frazier’s co-captain, senior Sarah Findeisen, is a regular at the club, as well. The No. 3 singles player appreciates the guidance her veteran coach provides.

“He has lot of experience,” Findeisen said. “We tend to fool around a lot, but when Tom’s there, we kind of know that this is time to play tennis, but we can still have fun.”

Hopewell has seen plenty of his co-captains around the indoor-outdoor facility, especially with Frazier working summer clinics and helping out with the courts.

“Those two played consistent tennis all year long,” the coach said of his captains. “You typically don’t see that in high school tennis. It’s usually 10 weeks out of the year, put the racket down and see it next year.”

While he’s happy to instruct his players…

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