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Low numbers make it difficult for the Crook County Cowboys to get team victories

The Crook County High School boys tennis team is not going to win a lot of matches this year.

However, that is not because the Cowboys are without talent. It's because the Cowboys do not have enough athletes to field a complete team. As a result, they are losing matches because of defaults.

The Cowboys were scheduled to open their season on April 12, but Pendleton did not have enough players to play on that day, so the match has been postponed.

Crook County then officially opened the season on Wednesday, April 14, when they hosted Hood River Valley, and the Eagles came away with a 6-2 road victory. Monday, April 19, the Cowboys were back in action, this time at The Dalles, where they fell 7-1. The team returned home this past Wednesday, dropping a match to a strong Ridgeview team 7-1.

The good news for Crook County is that they are getting a lot of playing time. Although it does not count in the scoring, the Cowboys individuals are often playing both a singles and doubles match on the same day, getting double the playing time they would in an ordinary year. With just one senior on the roster, that should pay big dividends in the future.

Against Hood River Valley, Layton Marshall and Aidan Bonner won their doubles match 2-6, 6-4, 10-4. Gabe Rothenbucher and Aidyne Barnes also won their doubles match, taking a 6-4, 2-6, 12-10 victory. In the lone remaining match that counted, senior Joey Stenbeck dropped a 6-0, 6-0 decision at number one singles.

In non-counting matches, Rothenbucher dropped the number two singles match 6-0, 6-1; Stenbeck and Marshall lost at number one doubles 6-2, 6-1; and Bonner and Barnes lost to Hood River Valley's number three doubles team 6-2, 6-4.

At home against The Dalles, Stenbeck earned a win at number one singles with a hard-fought 4-6, 6-4, 10-5 victory. At number two singles, Rothenbucher suffered a heartbreaking loss, falling 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 5-10. Marshall and Bonner then fell 6-1, 6-0 at number two doubles while Barnes and Stephen Strong lost the number four doubles match 6-0, 6-3.

In a pair of non-counting matches, Stenbeck and Rothenbucher fell to The number one doubles team from The Dalles 6-1, 6-3, while Marshall and Barnes defeated The Dalles number three doubles team 6-2, 6-3.

In their most recent match, Stenbeck won again, knocking off Ridgeview's number one singles player 3-6, 7-5, 10-2. Bonner and Barnes fell to the Ravens' number two doubles team 6-4, 6-1, and Strong and Marshall lost 6-0, 6-2 to Ridgeview's number three doubles team.

The two teams also played four non-counting matches with Marshall falling 6-1, 6-0 to Ridgeview's number two singles player, Bonner losing 6-2, 6-3 to the Ravens' number three singles team, Stenbeck and Marshall falling 6-1, 6-0 in number one doubles action and Barnes and Strong dropping the number four doubles match 6-0, 6-1.

The Cowboys were back in action on Monday when they hosted the Redmond Panthers. Crook County will then host Pendleton on Wednesday in a 3 p.m. match.

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