Monday, February 11, 2008

A Uniform History of Bruin Tennis

So decided to look at how fashion has changed for the tennis team here at Bethany over the years. With the help of yearbooks, we'll look back through the history of what we wear as we play tennis. You'll also get to look at blasts from the past, great players wearing sweet shirts. Like in this photo you'll notice our first tennis coach turned beloved guidance counselor, Jim Buller, on the far right. Nice 'stache!

So, as far as uniform goes, we start with simple t-shirts with an active logo for the 1992 season. This was the first shirt worn in competition for Bethany Christian tennis. Despite the black and white picture, the pants would have been blue. Not classic but very 1992...

This shirt continued into the 1993 season, but change came in 1994...

This isn't the greatest picture ever for uniform criticism, but it shows Bethany Christian player Wes Schrock sporting the school's new duds. These are classic. Probably my favorite old design before my era. Notice that we were no longer in t-shirts, but instead wore a collared, classy look. The simple logo makes it even more elegant and understated. I like it!

This stayed around for a while until 1997, when the trend tended back to t-shirts...

It's tough to see from the blurry pictures in the yearbook, but this is Bethany star Aaron Wieand as a freshman wearing a t-shirt once again. The design isn't bad, as it's just Bethany in large letters with a racquet underneath. Still white shirts and blue pants as well. A bit of other history, Aaron Wieand was the first and so far only Bethany player to play four years at #1 singles varsity.

Next up was this beaute of a t-shirt. Actually, I quite like the 1998 t-shirt. It says Bethany and then has the crossed rackets there underneath the name. Nice logo, maybe a little busy for my liking's good. Modeling here is Dan Lanctot, brother of current assistant Andrew, and my doubles partner in college.

Speaking of assistant coaches, here's Andrew Kauffman when he was a junior. Still in t-shirts (you'll see that doesn't change for quite a while) but this is the highlight of the t-shirt years. Simple, clean, just the name and a tennis ball. I'd feel proud to still have these shirts this year. Actually, since this was also a year that the team excelled on the court, maybe we see that there is a link between fashion and winning. Or maybe Andrew just had the confidence and swagger to make this look good...anyway...

Year 2000. Best year of Bethany tennis record wise, loss in the Sectional Final, but ...well...maybe this disproves my idea about the link of fashion and winning. I mean, the shirt is fine. But I hate the gigantic logo, really dislike the font in which it is written, I don't know, just strikes me odd and off putting. Modeling this unfortunate step backward is Adam Derstine, a senior in 2000 who came out for the team only this year, and played JV. The class of 2000 was the most successful of Bruin tennis history, having two consecutive seasons of 12-3. This team was heavy with seniors, leaving the next season a little empty. Did they take the fashion with them?

Here is cousins Colin Yoder and Tim Yoder in the 2001 uniforms. The interesting development for 2001 was the use of a multicolor scheme, as a blue shirt was added to the mix. Tim Yoder (on left) took over the #1 singles spot while Colin was my #1 singles player in my first season coaching. As far as the design of these shirts, it's good. I like the racket that looks like a sun. I really dig the two colors. It's always good to have options...

Joe Friesen checks in with the 2002 uniforms. Not much to say other than I like Joe, I don't like the 2002 uniform. Icky logo, gray shirt, no thumbs up (and it was fun to use the word "icky")

My first year coaching was 2003, and the uniforms we had were maybe an all time low. Way too busy on the front, we still had the ugly blue shorts from who-knows how long ago. We started to play better but boy did we look bad doing it. In the photo, from left to right you'll see Ben Shenk, Seth Troyer (our co-farthest advance in the state tournament), and a very svelte me. Look how freakin' thin I was when I got the job!

On to better days, one of the first changes I wanted to make was the way we looked. I've always been kind of a freak about uniforms, still am if you didn't notice this super long post, and so I wanted us to have something classier. Our first year of new, cool digs was 2004, when Jayco donated some money for us to buy these adidas classics. One of the biggest changes was the move to white shorts, which is so classy if you ask me. It gave us a lot of options, but we went with the blue v-necks. To be honest, we didn't know they were v-necked when we got them. I wish we would have because I wouldn't have ordered one for myself, because the mane of chest hair really comes pouring out of the v-neck, so I can never wear it. Our models above are Jordan Miller, Mike Steury, and Joel King (what sweet hair!)

2005 uniform springs to color! This is probably my favorite uniform from my years. Simple, classic, white that could be worn at Wimbledon (which is my favorite grand slam by the way). Just hints of blue and the three stripes down the back. This is an adidas classic. I wish we could get it in blue as well and just use these. This is also one of my favorite pictures, Johnny Kauffman and Jeremy Thomas showing us the teamwork.

2006 team type photo, with Daniel Buschert and Mikey Kelly leading the image. I'm lukewarm about this choice. We couldn't afford the more elaborate designs, but this is actually a soccer jersey that our girl's team has and I think that is what disappoints me the most. Disappoints me in our choice and adidas's lazy design teams. Reusing a design for both soccer and tennis...lazy. I still like the blue top with white shorts and the variety it gave us, just, well maybe there is better to come.

So that brings us to this past season. Daniel Buschert, Jonny Shenk and Matt Amstutz model our latest Nike design. It is a very cool design, streaky and stripey and all sorts of new blue (that's the name of the color). For me, it's a little much going on; I like classic, simple, one tone with well-spaced trim (see 2005). But I got to admit it looks really cool out on the courts. Above all it is distinctive, no other team has this design.

So what will we look like next year. Well the 2007 will be our main uniform still. But we're having a change in uniform philosophy. Instead of a new jersey every year, we will have one that will last a while. It will be one that the players don't pay for and don't care for (meaning I'll get to wash them for all of you). Unfortunately it will also be one that you won't be able to keep. You can expect to be classic, simple, and hopefully have the BC tennis logo on it.

So what are your thoughts? Which uniform is awesome, which is ugly, who is sweet in their picture? What should our new uniforms look like? Okay, I'm done with this long post...


  1. I agree that the 2005 design is the best, but the 2006 uniforms had the best shade of blue.

  2. the 07 shirts had ginormous neck holes which was kind of obnoxious, but they were really breathable. I agree with Daniel and Matt, 05 was the coolest especially considering it was agassi's choice at his last pro tourney (US Open). That was an honor and inspiring...for me anyways.

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