Unable to fill an entire varsity lineup, at least in the season’s early going, Franklin County boys tennis and coaches Derrike Kolb and Dylan Little suffered a pair of 4-1 setbacks last week on the courts.

With a few players electing not to return to the squad in 2021, that left Kolb looking at two seniors and the remaining being freshmen. As of last Wednesday, there weren’t enough youngsters with sufficient practice time to be eligible for match play. That night, FC took a 4-1 loss at Northeastern with the forfeit coming at No. 3 singles. A night before, facing Richmond at home, the Red Devils won 4-1 as the home team didn’t field a No. 2 doubles team.

The Wildcats are sure to be golden at one spot, however, and that’s No. 1 singles standout Jack Stirn. Stirn quickly dispatched Richmond’s Jaden Hollingsworth 6-0, 6-0 and followed that with a 6-1, 6-2 win over NE’s Ben Deitsch. Unfortunately for FC, his points were the only ones earned by the team.

The other senior, Nick Wendel, battled his Northeastern opponent Canyon Johnting at No. 2 singles but lost 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 8-10 (tiebreaker). The freshmen Averys, Crouch and Harrison, teamed up at the top doubles court and lost 6-1, 6-0 to Treydon York and Karson Scarrette. Ninth-graders Garrett Kuntz and Trevor Bruns fell 6-2, 6-0 against Logan White and Kaiden White.

Wendel suffered a 6-0, 6-0 loss to Richmond’s Isayah Wilks the previous day and Kuntz debuted at singles, falling 6-2, 6-1 to the Devils’ Ethan Farrar. Crouch and Harrison were taken down 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles by Jackson Cornett and Mark Brunton.

Other freshmen fixing to work themselves into the lineup soon are Ty Bruns, Tyson Rosenberger and Elijah Dean.

FC was set to visit Rushville Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s home match with East Central and the Richmond Invitational Saturday.