A lot of Los Banos High's new tennis players are used to hitting other people instead of little green balls.
Yet there they are, a bunch of football players and basketball players digging into the Western Athletic Conference tennis schedule. On one doubles team, basketball forward Joel Marshall teams up with second-team all-league wide receiver Keith Turner. On another, first-team all-league running back James Sams teams up with linebacker/quarterback Tyler Cicairos.
"They take it very seriously, which I like," Los Banos coach Lynn Barcellos said. "There's no fooling around with these guys."
With only two returning players -- No. 1 player J.T. Barcellos and No. 2 Clarke Monroe -- Barcellos was worried about filling a full roster of 12 players. But then a wave of football and basketball players with no spring sports started showing up to practice.
"It's going to be interesting," Lynn Barcellos said. "One of them said they're used to hitting people and tackling people and making a lot of noise. It's teaching them to be calm and under control."
The new-look Tigers delved into WAC play Monday with a 6-3 win over Central Valley, then lost an 8-1 nonleague match against Golden Valley on Wednesday.
The Tigers are coming off a season in which they finished second in the WAC and advanced to the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 2 playoffs.