Wednesday, August 7, 2013

2013 Season Preview

Who are we this year?
Every year, we start out practice with the emphasis of brotherhood. This team is made special by who we are for each other, not what we do on the court. So, what are we striving for this year. At tennis camp, we discussed the Beatitudes. Looking at these statements, we realized that we are blessed and we want to continue to manifest these blessings to each other. So our season will revolve around...

Matthew 5:3-12
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God. 
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

You'll notice that the first blessing and the last blessing talk about the kingdom of heaven. We're hoping that we can put on display these facets of the kingdom of heaven this season and beyond.

What about the tennis?
The tennis should be really good this year. We return 6 players with significant varsity experience, and there are only 7 players needed to form a varsity. In addition, we add 9 (!) freshman, many of whom have worked hard enough in their middle school years to put themselves in competition with our upperclassmen. 

So we should be quite a deep team this year, with many players capable of playing varsity and high JV positions. Hopefully we can continue to gain confidence and skill as the year goes on, because we'll have plenty of competition within the team to push us on.

What is most exciting so far?
Well, lot's of things are exciting so far. At tennis camp, we played a scrimmage vs. Angola. And while we lost the varsity match 4-1, we competed well beyond what I expected in a match against the defending regional champion who returns 6 of their players. And in the JV match, we swept Angola, winning each JV position. It was an especially exciting night for Bethany newcomer Jacob Gonsalves, who won in two tiebreak sets for the JV.

It's also been exciting to watch varsity players put in work time. Joel Gerig has been especially impressive, working on the tennis courts to help fix some cracks and then also staying around to hit extra serves. His dedication and commitment have to be commended as a true example of leadership for the younger players to see.

In the coming weeks, I hope the guys get a growing sense of excitement over what this team can be. I can't wait to see us continue to grow into young men rooted in their relationships with God and others. May we play as though we are blessed, because it is the truth.

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