High school boys tennis

Russell comes aboard to captain Mariner court ship

Oceanside coach, family have deep roots in sport
By Mark Haskell | Mar 20, 2019
Photo by: Mark Haskell Ken Russell.

Camden — For the past three years, Ken Russell watched his son excel as a student-athlete on the high school tennis court.

Now, Russell hopes to mentor racket-wielding youths in the same way as he has been named the boys varsity coach at Oceanside High School.

It is the first varsity coaching position for the 56-year-old Camden resident, who has taught math and computer science at OHS for two years.

Russell replaces Ian Carey, who guided the Mariners three years.

He is a 1980 graduate of Hall-Dale High School of Farmingdale/Hallowell, where he was on the soccer, swim and track teams for the Bulldogs. From there, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Vermont in 1998 and a masters in fine arts from Syracuse University in New York in 1992.

Russell is the father of Cooper Russell, who, the past three years, helped the nearby Camden Hills boys tennis team win three regional championships and two state Class B titles.

“I am very excited to be the new tennis coach at Oceanside,” said Ken. “For the past three years I have enjoyed watching my son and his team play for CHRHS, and it has been fascinating to watch his ability and sportsmanship grow over the years. Now that he has finished high school, it is fortunate for me that this position was opened, allowing me to take my interest and enthusiasm for high school tennis from spectator to coach.”

The new coach always has been an avid tennis player, but ramped up his enthusiasm and involvement in the sport when Cooper got more serious about the sport in middle school.

The coach hopes to guide Oceanside to an improvement on its one-win season a year ago.

“I am hoping to provide Oceanside athletes the chance to improve their skills, and experience the satisfaction of competing well,” he said. “With 14 players on the roster there is a range of ability and experience, including many returning players as well as four freshmen, some of whom have been playing in the off-season.”

Ken added that he is confident Abe LeMole, the Mariners' lone senior, who has participated in the Maine Principals' Association state singles qualifiers the past three seasons and made it to the Round of 48 as a junior, “will be a great model for our younger athletes, not only as a player but as a team leader.”

Ken said the Mariners will work in the school gymnasium on drills and fitness and also hope to “take advantage of some preseason indoor court time at [the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport].”

Oceanside opens the regular season on Thursday, April 11 when it hosts Winslow.

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