Shanks stepping aside


Sports Writer

KINGSFORD – Mark Shanks is going out a winner.

Shanks, coach of the U.P. Division 1 girls tennis champion Kingsford Flivvers, will not return next season.

“I told them I would run it for my daughter’s four years,” Shanks said Wednesday after a second straight U.P. title. “I have too many things on the back burner at this time of the year. That makes it tough.

“I don’t want to leave the program. I’m going to miss the girls big time. No negative feelings. It’s been positive.”

The Flivvers shared the 2012 U.P. Division 1 title with Negaunee. This time, Kingsford topped the Miners 18-14 for the trophy outright.

“It was our year and we finished undefeated,” said Shanks, noting the Flivver boys and girls teams are unbeaten since the “blue” court resurfacing last season.

Mark’s daughter, Anna, and senior teammate Kate Lamy carried a perfect record into the U.P. No. 1 doubles final but Escanaba’s Olivia Berquist and Shelby Gregoire pulled off the upset.

“Two U.P. champions and I got to coach my daughter,” Shanks said. “That was the most golden thing. Now I’m looking forward to the same thing with my son (Alek).

“I’d like to coach the boys for four more years and call it a career. We’ll see what happens.”