Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday Numbers : 2008-2009

It's the last real day of the school year for me, tomorrow is a talent show and softball game. So, though this has been done before, I'd like to look back at my favorite memories from 2008-2009, and look ahead to 2009-2010.

Favorite 2008-2009 Tennis Memories

Luke Hostetter - Your Sectional final match against Preston was amazing, to watch you dig in and decide that you weren't going to lose, that you were going to make him fight to win. That determination and attitude were the reasons you succeeded at number one for three years.

Jared Schwartzentruber - The maturity and MAJOR step forward that you took after our conversation at Goshen early in the season. You were silently the most assured position we sent out on the court every match after that one. I don't know if people realize, but after playing out of position against Northridge and then losing to Ryan Wengerd, you went 19-1 the rest of the season, only losing in a super tiebreak. That is amazing progress, and it was all a credit to your attitude.

Jonny Shenk - I remember calling you from Camp Amigo to talk about your early season struggles. That conversation gave me a lot of confidence in how deeply you cared for the team and for tennis in general. And you used that passion to do the work. I even love the memory of you falling down on the court after the East Noble match, because caring about something is a lot harder to persist in than succeeding in something. But my favorite Jonny match this year was your dismantling of Brock Bechtel on senior night. You had everything going, and it was fun to watch.

Johnny Kauffman - Honestly, my favorite moment was you stretching while the team played as you battled through your back injury. That showed a lot of leadership, showing up despite not being able to play. Also, the big matches you guys won this year (at Penn, vs. NorthWood), those were awesome. The way you attacked the net with confidence and intimidated others, awesome. The way you pounded down shots out of the I-formation, AMAZING.

Jeremy Thomas - No doubt about it, you played your best match at the biggest time: Sectional Final. You were dominant in that match, and I will always see you as the person who pushed us over the top to win the Sectional. I know, Johnny played well too, but I feel like you were the difference from the first time we played NorthWood to the second. And then you played awesome against East Noble too, to bad they didn't lose until the State final.

Daniel Buschert - Your continual questions about how to get better kept me sharp as a coach this year. I appreciate that. I'm excited that you continue to get better and are heading to college to play. My favorite match this year for you and Mikey was the second time against Concord. They were shell-shocked as you guys didn't even give them a chance. I loved to see that confidence grow.

Matthew Amstutz - I can't tell you how grateful I am to you for this season. You are the reason we had the team spirit that we did. You were such an important part. I wish I could really make you believe that. I am so happy to hear that you are continuing to play. You've got so much potential.

Justin Gregor - Your match at Penn was perhaps the funnest match all season. We were in good spirits because the varsity had already won, and your match sealed the JV's continued undefeated season. It was really fun to see you get better.

Mikey Kelly - Your match against Fairfield in Sectional was awesome. You fought yourself mentally the whole third set, and then it just clicked and you began to really play. I don't know what happened to help you hold it together with your back against the wall, but I was really proud of you.

Austin Loucks - Your dedication right after the season was amazing. You came to every open court, every workout session, every weight lifting opportunity. That was exactly what we need from our incoming seniors. I was so glad to see it. Okay, I was super pumped to see that.

Misha Rebec - This past season, your match against Jimtown was a great one. I loved how you jumped to the middle of the net to control doubles matches from there. Playing with Claude wasn't something that you did often, but in that match you guys played well together.

Claude Stickler - Your match at Penn was awesome too. Playing singles against another guy who hit silly shots, spinning all over the place, talking throughout the whole match. It was again a really fun match and memory.

Jake Gerig - Triple Wildebeast. I really don't have anything else to say besides, that every time you came forward and slammed the ball crowd yelling Triple Wildebeast!

Nick Rebec - You had an excellent season, I think it can sometimes go unnoticed. You only lost one match the whole season. But your backhand is awesome. I look forward to seeing it get even better during the summer, and then unleashing on unsuspecting varsities across Northern Indiana.

Seth Krabill - My favorite memory from this season is how much better you've gotten during this offseason. My favorite match memory? Two weeks ago when you played Luke to a tiebreak here at Bethany. That is the hope for the future that I have.

Russell Klassen - Your undefeated season was a thing of beauty. You won singles matches, you won doubles matches. The match at Penn was again my favorite. You and Kyle committed to playing good doubles strategy, and they couldn't withstand your attacking presence and big forehand.

Kyle Miller - Love your big serve. Love your forehand. Loved it when you committed to doubles strategy with Russell in the Jimtown match and continued throughout the season. I think my favorite memory though is when you guys pulled back from behind at Jimtown, in your first doubles match together. A lot of it had to do with your confidence in winning your serve.

Ben Mast - Your commitment is a motivator to me as a coach. People who want to play and give their hearts to this game, they make me want to give my all. You had some great matches last year, your play at the Wayne Invitational and Jimtown Invitational, playing against varsity competition, should give you more heart for this year. You are still an undefeated varsity player, keep that record up! But your Northridge match was amazing. You confidently controlled the last two sets, and it was the first of many varsity wins for you.

Blake Shetler - Okay, team camp is certainly the best memory from last season. I knew so little of you. But I was also psyched to see you so many mornings this winter. The team will only continue to be good as long as players stay dedicated. Your dedication is just the start.

Evan Grimes - I'm just glad your mom called the night before tennis started. You improved so much in your first season. To actually end the season with a winning record, considering where you started, that was a real accomplishment.

Matt Ebersole - It's silly, but what made me a little mad has now become a harmless goofy memory. You showing up to practice without shoes on is something I'll never forget.

Tomorrow, I'll move on to what I'm looking forward to. Thanks for the memories so far, each of you.

1 comment:

  1. This is a little late, but I thought I'd write my favorite memories of the coaches from 2008.
    Mike Steury
    For our first summer match Matt and Andrew couldn't make it so Mike came and told us to aim for their heads and balls.
    Andrew Lanctot
    During one match- Triton maybe- Andrew told Mikey and I to stop trying for the ace fest and play tennis. He completely read our minds because we had decided to see which of us could have the most aces and were each keeping track.
    Also, the swerving out of the way of bouncing straw bales was pretty awesome.
    Matt Miller
    One good memory I had of you Matt was during practice before the season when you brought Gideon inside the tennis courts when we were hitting- I kept thinking I would nail him on some shot accidentally but you didn't seem to be worried.
    I also thought senior night was particularly well coached because you explained to everyone why you were making all the crazy changes to the lineup (no one person played their normal position) and it seemed ridiculous and then we ended up dominating. I think even though some people didn't like some of the changes (cough cough Johnny Kaufman) we all trusted you enough that it worked out. Great job.


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