LEWISTON — Construction of the new Edward Little High School left the Red Eddies’ tennis programs without access to their tennis courts and search of a place to practice and play during the 2021 season.

Edward Little’s rival, Lewiston, stepped up and offered to share its eight courts with the Red Eddies this spring.

“(School officials) have been talking about it for a while,” Edward Little boys coach Greg Vincent said. “We knew this was coming, we were hoping to get one more year (at our courts), but it didn’t happen.”

Edward Little also looked into using the Taylor Pond Yacht Club’s courts this year.

Vincent said that he believes the Red Eddies will be back at Edward Little in 2022.

The EL boys traveled across the river Monday for the first day of spring practices. The girls decided to stay at Edward Little and use opening day to go over details of how things will work when they begin practicing at Lewiston on Tuesday.

“I had some things I had to go over with my players today about all the paperwork, making sure they have transportation over there and all the COVID guidelines, how we are going to enter and exit up top,” Edward Little girls tennis coach Kim Clark said in a phone interview. “We don’t want to enter their (lower five) courts. I had a lot of that stuff to go over with them before we actually we got started over there.”

Edward Little was originally going to use the courts after Lewiston practiced from 5:30-7:30 p.m. but when Clark spoke to Lewiston girls coach Anita Murphy last week about that plan, Murphy suggested the schools’ teams practice simultaneously, the girls programs from 2:30-4 p.m. and the boys from 4-5:30 p.m.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the teams won’t intermingle with each other during practices. The Red Eddies will use the three courts on the top of the hill.

Both athletic directors, Lewiston’s Jason Fuller and Edward Little’s Todd Sampson signed off on the plan.

“We will wave to each other,” Lewiston girls coach Anita Murphy said. “I talked to Kim Clark, the EL coach, we are looking forward to having them come. They are going to use the top courts. And I am glad we can accommodate them. I feel bad that they are losing their courts.”

The Edward Little boys only had two players at Monday’s practice, sophomore Jonah Chen and senior Shane Kilby.

Vincent said that not playing on campus will likely affect the size of the Red Eddies’ roster this season.

“Not being to practice at Edward Little hurts,” Vincent said. “It’s a double-edge sword; we get to use these courts here, which is awesome, but a lot of our players came (to play) because it was convenient. They came because we were right there at the high school. They can leave the school and go right to the courts. Those days are gone, now they need to find transportation, they have to get themselves here. It takes more time, it takes more effort.”

This is the first year Kilby has come out for the tennis team. He was going to play last year before the season was canceled due to the pandemic. He said that games and practices moving to Lewiston nearly prevented him from participating this spring.

“It almost did, but it’s not that far,” Kilby said. “I decided to I would come here anyway.”

Chen hopes to able to recruit a few more players.

“I just have to do the best I can,” Chen said. “I will have to recruit more people so we can have a team so we can play.”

Clark said that the eight EL girls who signed up to play this year said they won’t have any transportation issues.

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