James Lowry has returned to coach at Grand Island Central Catholic, but it will be for two different teams than in his prior stint.

Lowry coached the Crusaders girls tennis team from 1994-2000, including back-to-back state championship teams his final two seasons.

Now he is back to coach the GICC boys tennis and girls basketball teams.

“I love it,” Lowry said of returning. “A lot of the same faculty is here from when I was here before. It’s a great feeling coming back.”

And Lowry loves where the boys tennis team is at after the long, successful run of Bill Gavers as the head coach.

“The kids come in with a great attitude, and that’s because of the guy who was here before,” Lowry said. “Coach Gavers taught them the right work ethic. Because of him, they always came ready to play and ready to practice.

“They are great kids to work with. They’re always helping each other out.”

A quartet of juniors return to the varsity lineup to lead Lowry’s first GICC boys squad.

Quinten Harshbarger went 29-4 and finished third in Class B at No. 2 singles.

Dylan Nordhues and John Rohweder advanced to the quarterfinals at No. 2 doubles.

Ryan Vitera advanced to the second round at No. 1 singles.

“Those four along with Jordan Fay from Northwest – our only senior – have all stepped up,” Lowry said.

“They’re doing everything they can to help the team. They work with the younger kids who might not be ready to play at the varsity level and help them improve.”

Lowry’s goals sound a lot like what Gavers wanted from the Crusaders each year.

“I hope we keep improving,” he said.

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