Nick Forester swings a tennis racket with either hand. Lana Mavor does well with just one.

Together they represent a new chapter in Maine high school tennis.

“We’ve never had anybody who’s been this good,” said 20-year Yarmouth coach Ann Harradon of Mavor, a freshman with a national ranking of 33 among 14-and-under girls. “I think having Lana on the team is boosting everyone’s morale. The singles players are thrilled because now they don’t have to play at No. 1.”

A few miles south of Yarmouth on a recent sunny afternoon, the ambidextrous Forester bounced on the balls of his feet at the baseline, winging forehands from both sides of his body.

Graduation claimed only one starting player off the two-time defending Class A state champion Falmouth boys, and Forester ably fills the gap left by Aidan McGrory at No. 1 singles.

“He really loves the game and he works hard at it,” said 45-year head coach Bob McCully, noting  Forester carries on a tradition of top-flight freshmen at Falmouth’s top singles spot that started with Brian Patterson, and included Chris Morrison and Justin Brogan.

Only once has the MPA state singles tournament been won by a pair of freshmen, in 1987, when Eric Blakeman of North Yarmouth Academy won the first of four straight titles and Lauren Rioux of Kennebunk won the first of two. She also won as a junior in ’89, lost in the semis as a sophomore and final as a senior.

Plenty of significant hurdles remain before such history could be made, of course. Falmouth senior Julia Brogan, St. Dominic junior Bethany Hammond and Wells sophomore Rosemary Campanella all reached the final four last spring. Two-time singles finalist Nick Mathieu of Mt. Ararat is rated higher than Forester on the United States Tennis Association New England U16 rankings.

At No. 33, however, Forester isn’t far behind Mathieu’s 26th and has one victory in four USTA matches against the junior from Topsham. Another freshman threat is 34th-ranked Dariy Vykhodtsev of Thornton Academy, who beat Forester earlier this month after losing to him twice earlier this year.

All three played in last year’s Betty Blakeman tournament, the biggest event on the state’s summer schedule, with Mathieu eliminating Vykhodtsev in the third round, and Forester falling to eventual finalist and second seed Tyler Adams of USM in three sets in the fourth round. Adams proceeded to dispatch No. 7 Mathieu in the quarterfinals.

Forester isn’t even the only ambidextrous threat on his team. Junior Peter Stegemann, at No. 3 singles, not only hits forehands from both sides but serves with either hand.

Forester and Stegemann train under Woodlands pro Harvey McCartney, who also taught the dual-handed approach to Waynflete sophomore Jacob Greene.

“You basically have two weapons, two strong sides,” said Forester, a natural left-hander who writes with his right hand and eats with his left. “For most people, their backhand is their weaker side.”

Until a little over a year ago, Forester also switched hands on his serve. Rather than have two average serves, he opted to concentrate on his left-handed approach.

“A lefty serve is tougher to return,” he said, “because it’s rare.”

Forester took up tennis at age 4 and started working with McCartney at 6. They went with an all-forehand approach when Forester was 9.

“He’s very steady,” McCully said of the 5-foot-91/2 freshman. “He’s not going to beat himself. You’ve got to have the shots to beat him.”

Mavor, the daughter of former collegiate players Brian Mavor (North Carolina State) and Lesya Stasiv (USM), also trains with McCartney as well as her grandfather, Roman Stasiv, like his daughter a native of Ukraine.

“I always loved tennis,” said Lana, who started playing tournaments at 12 and broke onto the national scene at 13. She missed practice time earlier this month while competing at the prestigious Easter Bowl junior tournament in Indian Wells, California, the one waiver she was allowed under the MPA bona fide team rule.

“She’ll be at practice every day,” Harradon said, “and she’ll be at all the matches.”

Although Mavor attended Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth along with taking some online classes to facilitate her tennis training, she’s doing all her academic work this year with Maine Virtual Academy, the state’s newest charter school.

Although many of her matches are likely to be lopsided, Mavor said she can always work on different aspects of her game.

“I mostly stay back but I’ll probably try to serve and volley a lot for the practice,” she said. “It’s the people who just get it back who are the hardest to play.”

Although she occasionally trains with Forester, Mavor said she’s happy hitting both forehands and backhands instead of sporting the dual-hand look.

“I don’t think I’ll ever do that,” she said with a laugh. “That’s like starting over at the beginning.”

For high school tennis in Maine, a new beginning arrives this spring.