COLUMBIA FALLS — After Columbia Falls promising tennis season, you would think the biggest question heading into this season would be which players would they lose.
But that would have been much easier. The Wildcats lost their tennis courts which was the most significant loss they had to navigate.
"The courts actually were torn out last fall. And one of my players called me, and she was like, 'Oh my gosh, the old courts are gone, and the new courts aren't finished.' I had a moment of panic, and I was just like, okay," Columbia Falls head tennis coach Michelle Colliander said.
But after panic came reinvention. Colliander understood the significance of playing through this season - both on and off the courts - having once been a tennis state champion for Columbia Falls herself. So Colliander and her assistant coach, who also happens to be her husband, got to work.
"My husband came too because he's, you know, a master of everything. And he had some log posts in the back of his truck, and he was like, let me just try this and see if it works," said Colliander. "And it did. So we actually went home and got more material and came back and then just put these courts together the rest of the night and then found some nets, and we were practicing the next day."
The Wildcats are looking to build off a promising season after Cody Schweikert and Cade Morgan made it to state as the Columbia Falls No. 1 doubles team. They hope to ride that momentum, along with their coach's perseverance.
"Her energy about this was insane. So, we had to match it and that's why we're out here every day working with her and she's feeding balls every day to us. So, she's just getting it done for us," Morgan said.
Schweikert added, "We know everyone we will play now; we know we got what it takes to win. Last year we were really just trying to get better, and this year, we are just trying to make a run for it."