WILLIAMSTOWN - Of all the weapons the Mount Greylock boys' tennis team has, depth might be the most dangerous.
With the core of last season's Western Massachusetts semifinal team returning, and the return of Rohan Shastri to high school tennis, the Mounties look to be primed to make a run toward a Western Massachusetts title.
"It makes things a little easier," coach Stephen Bryant said. "All the boys are really excited. They feel like we can go pretty far."
Shastri returns to high school tennis after he reached the No. 1 position in the United States Tennis Association's 18-andunder New England Rankings. His national ranking is No. 74.
He will assume the Mounties No. 1 position. That will push last year's top singles player, Jonah Majumder, to No. 2. Jake Foehl is expected to be the No. 3 singles player.
While he is excited for his team's potential, Bryant also has a major concern. He's hoping the team's talent doesn't work against them.
"One thing I am worried about is the boys getting a little too relaxed, and kind of expecting to win matches easily," he said. "I'll just have to keep them in check and keep their heads in reality."
One way he'll do that is by using the depth. Bryant had 20 players attended tryouts, and is certain about 15 of those own the ability to play varsity tennis. That talent will allow the Mounties to have competitive practices as players look to move up the ranks.
Leading the charge of depth players looking to move up is sophomore Nyein Soe. He played No. 3 singles for much of last year. He'll start the year at doubles, but is one of many players that will look to challenge his teammates in practice for playing time.
"Nyein has the potential to be the number two or number three on the team," Bryant said. "It's an open competition. That's great and exactly what I want. It keeps players trying to improve their skills and keep their spots.
"Hopefully, they all realize they might not have a spot all year and anything can happen." Nyein will most likely start the season by playing with Will Nolan. Nathan Majumder and Alex White will be doubles partners for the second straight year. The Mounties earned the No. 7 seed in the tournament last year. They tossed St. Mary's in the quarterfinals before eventual-Western Mass champion Lenox bounced them from the tournament.
"The team was fairly young last year, so it was a nice experience," Bryant said. "They know what it takes and how though the competition is going to be on the way to get there."
Greylock lost just three times in the regular season last year. Jesse Foehl is the only starter the team lost from that team. The depth of Bryant's team has him hoping for great success.
"We could have gone undefeated last year, with a break or two," Bryant said. "This year it seems a little more reachable.
"Our goal is to win Western Mass."