Lewiston High School tennis player Sam Frechette poses for a photo prior to a recent practice. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

LEWISTON — There’s a two-week break in between the end of winter season and the start of spring practices.

For most high school athletes, depending on how far their team advances in the postseason or when their sport’s season ends, the break is longer and could be up to a month. The time off allows them to rest their bodies before the snow melts and they return to the fields and courts for the spring.

Sam Frechette’s break in between seasons? About 24 hours.

The Lewiston senior has returned to play tennis after spending the fall and winter with the L/A Nordiques, with whom he played in the NA3HL Fraser Cup championship game last week (they lost to the Texas Brahmas 2-1 on March 31).

After flying back April 1 from Woodridge, Illinois, where the Fraser Cup was being held, he joined the tennis team the next day to start his spring season. His Nordiques teammates were ready to depart from Lewiston for the offseason, but Frechette  returned to school and tennis practice, which started while he was in Illinois.

“They are all like, ‘The season is over.’ I am like, ‘I got practice tomorrow,’” Frechette said with a chuckle. “I got to get up at 6 (a.m.) to go to school, so it’s not over for me yet.”

It had been eight months since Frechette has picked up a tennis racket. He is now in the process of quickly working himself into tennis shape as Lewiston’s season begins Thursday against Skowhegan. It’s the Blue Devils’ lone match before April vacation.

“Realistically, we have one match, we go up to Skowhegan (on) Thursday, but we don’t play another match until we get back from after break,” Lewiston tennis coach Tom Leblond said. “He will have all of break to play tennis. I think he will be fine.”

The biggest thing Leblond said Frechette will need to work on his footwork and getting his legs use to running rather than skating.

Frechette is still recovering from injuries from the hockey season and is going to stay away from the gym for a couple of weeks.

He thought it was important to play tennis with his friends one last time before graduation after forgoing his senior year of high school hockey.

“It’s nice. I have been with them all year (in school),” Frechette said. “It’s nice to play a sport with them and have final year with them.”

Caden Smith, the Blue Devils No. 1 player from last year and also a member of the Lewiston hockey team, is glad to be teammates with Frechette again.

Lewiston High School tennis player Sam Frechette poses for a photo prior to a recent practice. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

“Sam, obviously we missed him for hockey, he’s an unreal hockey player, but we are glad he chose the opportunity to play for the Nordiques. He did well,” Smith said. “Obviously, tennis is a little different than hockey, but he’s excited for one last push, for sure.”

Leblond, who’s a teacher at Lewiston, knew Frechette would return for the tennis season.

“I would bump into him in the halls and he would say he’s very excited for tennis,” Leblond said. “Tennis is a different beast, hockey season is a long season, it wears on you and to be able to transition to tennis, we are outdoors and we are a little more loose. … It’s a whole different form of competing, he’s on a team but he’s competing as an individual.”

Part of the reason Frechette wanted to play tennis is his senior year is he wants to help the team to get back to the Class A North regional final and possibly the state championship.

“We are going to do good this year,” Frechette said. “We just need to get our feet underneath ourselves because we are (mostly) all hockey players. We haven’t played tennis all winter, but it will be good. I am excited for the season.”

Frechette’s return means that every varsity player who was on last year’s team, which lost to Camden Hills in the regional final, is back this season.

“He’s ready to go,” Smith said. “He’s out of his hockey mode already, I feel like, and he’s already picking up his game so far. He’s ready to help make a push this year.”

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