Thursday, August 4, 2011

11 Things for 2011

Over the next eleven weekdays, I'll be counting down the things that I'm excited for (as a coach) entering the 2011 season. Check out previous posts below.

#11 - New Regional Alignment
#7 - The Freshmen

Every year, new ninth graders show up to practice, not sure of what role they'll be playing on the JV over the next couple of seasons. Most are unsure of the proper way to hit a ball, the positioning needed in a doubles match, how to properly score a tiebreak, all sorts of things.

Not this year.

This year, there is a lot to celebrate about our freshman class! First of all, let's remember that they performed really well during their middle school tennis careers. They are the first class of tennis players to have had the benefit of three full seasons of middle school tennis competition. Not only did they get to play, this past year they went undefeated in our modest season, beating Goshen, Northridge, and Westview. Also, they tied for second in the Angola tournament, where 5 out of 7 of them advanced to the finals.

Secondly, there are a lot of them playing. For the second time in my coaching career at Bethany we've got 10 freshman out for the team. That's incredible. That big number keeps it really fun for them, because they've got friends all around. Also, it means a bunch of people to practice and play with after the season is over, which means we'll all be getting better. Finally, it means competition for the varsity spots (eventually), which can only mean that the most determined, most talented, most committed players will be the ones who make it! I can't wait to see who that is as we have fun over the next four seasons.

But don't think it's all about the future. Oh no, there's at least one or two freshman who have a real shot at making the varsity this year. That's almost unheard of in my time as coach here at Bethany. Only once has a freshman made the varsity, and that was in my very first year of coaching when we only had 10 full-time players. I'm continually looking forward to what this class will do.

You know, because my last class of 10 freshman, well... they won a Sectional.

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