Photo by Quentin Dunnigan ’22 | 7th hour tennis practices together as the season comes to a beginning
By Quentin Dunnigan ’22
While the spring season of varsity tennis approaches, players are beginning to prepare for the upcoming tryouts and for the season as a whole. Having won state championships for three consecutive years and going undefeated in-state last year, the players are hoping for another successful season in 2020.
As players and coaches strengthen their bonds with one another and as the team grows closer, the JV and varsity tennis teams alike prepare for a difficult season that lies ahead of them.
With many returning players in the seventh period tennis class, players have been practicing since the beginning of the second semester, honing their abilities. “We’re already practicing now because our national tournaments start at the end of February, so we’ve got to start getting ready for those now,” said head tennis coach Eric Chalmers.
Other than their first national tournament, the tennis team is also busy in February with JV and varsity tryouts as well as with their first in-state matches.
Striving for a successful season, coaches, too, have been physically and mentally studying.
“I’m lucky to have a great group of other coaches. Between coach Brenden and coach Chris and coach Larry, between the four of us, we make up a really cooperative group. And then we’ve got another coach, coach Jake, who works with the guys separately too,” Chalmers said.
“Really, all of us inform how we want to coach the team. We see what our team needs and make decisions together,” Chalmers further explained.
Being careful yet advancing, the coaches work as a unit to strengthen how to team functions as a whole. “We have great coaches that work on technique, and if someone is having a chronic problem or acute injury they’ll send them to us,” said Brophy’s head athletic trainer Mr. Chris White.
At the same time, the coaches all look to have strong, cooperative relationships with the players, as they seek to foster positive tennis conditions. “It’s more of a collaboration to make us better, and they encourage a team environment. I love all the coaches, they’re great,” said returning varsity tennis player Andrew Chong.
On top of the strong bonds that can be seen between the coaches and the players, the players also share strong bonds among one another. “The team is just like a family, and everybody takes care of each other,” said Chalmers.
Looking to the future, both players and coaches are hopeful for another successful season, though there are many challenges that lay in their path.
“In a lot of ways, last season, just like this season, we have a target on our backs. We are now the three time defending state champs and every team that we play is going to give us their best shot,” said Chalmers.
On top of this, Chalmers explained that this year’s competition may be more difficult than the last, with high level players on other teams.
Despite these challenges, players and coaches both are hopeful to continue last year’s successes and win the state championship this year as well.