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Cris Glade is back as head coach of the Park girls tennis team this season. Glade coached the team 11 years prior to a three-year hiatus. (Bulletin file photos)

2013 Fall Sports Preview: Glade ‘excited’ for return to the Park girls tennis program

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He’s back.

After coaching the Park girls tennis team for 11 seasons and a three-year hiatus, Cris Glade has retaken hold of the Wolfpack this fall.

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Glade said he hopes to stop the coaching carousel at Park. He’ll be the third coach of the Wolfpack girls in the past three years.

“I’m excited to be back working with the program,” Glade said. “It’s great to work with the quality people that the players are. I hope to bring back some stability to what has been an unstable situation the last few years.”

Glade stepped down from the position in 2010 after a job change, and in order to spend more time with his kids, he said at the time. Sean Kangrga took over for Glade, but only lasted a year. Last season, Park graduate Ashley Homan stepped in, but didn’t return this year.

Glade inherits a team with a few staple players, but a number of question marks.

The 2012 Park girls tennis season officially ended after a string of first-round losses at the individual sectional tournament in Lakeville and the Wolfpack was unable to earn a team win in the Suburban East Conference.

Key returning players from last year include seniors Nina Riesselman and Mallorie Briggs and junior Maggie Oppold. Briggs and Riesselman will act as team captains this season. Promising newcomers to the squad this fall include sophomores Dani Perry, Celine Cha and Marissa Torres.

Glade said his team’s strengths are “senior leadership and a team filled with quality people.” However, he feels a weakness of the squad is the players’ experience as compared to the competition they face in the Suburban East Conference and in Section 3AA.

Glade said he believes the top teams in the Suburban East this season will likely be Mounds View, Forest Lake, Stillwater and East Ridge, respectively. In the section, he said Eagan, Eastview and South St. Paul will likely be the teams to beat.

Park kicked off the season on Aug. 20 with a 6-1 loss to Cannon Falls. Next, the Wolfpack begins conference play at home against Stillwater on Thursday, Aug. 29.

—Patrick Johnson

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Patrick Johnson
Patrick Johnson has been the South Washington County Bulletin’s sports editor since 2008. He reports on and oversees coverage of high school and amateur sports in south Washington County and Woodbury. Prior to joining the Bulletin, Johnson worked for other Twin Cities suburban newspapers. He is a University of Minnesota graduate.
(651) 319-4505
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