We were young incidentally, stumbling
into joy, he said.
- from "Once Upon a Time" by Jack Gilbert
When we are young, we don't think about potential. We don't prepare much for the future. We don't get too many real glimpses of what we might be. On Monday night, at practice, I sat the freshman give them the opportunity of imagination. On Thursday night, we tried to back that image up with reality. What can you be?
We've never had a freshman class as deep and talented as this one. I mean, just glance at their records this year and you can tell that they are finding success. But ultimately, success at JV level is not the goal for high school tennis. It's success at that next level, at varsity, that many players thirst for.
So, the freshman got their varsity shot, as a whole class, on Thursday night. They took on the Laville Lancers' varsity team, a team that lacks a single freshman. I was afraid that they might be nervous, but they seemed excited (and confused) about playing in their first varsity match together.
In every match, we won the first game. We aggressive tennis, the Lancers made some mistakes, and we were able to capitalize. The closest game was for Jacob Gonsalves, actually going back and forth to deuce several times. Of course, he was fighting his own double faults, and once he got that under control he was able to win a few more games.
In our other matches, we gained great experience. Byeong Min Lim got the varsity victory that escaped him at Fremont. Simon Hurst and Lane Miller paired together in a great way, getting to the net and hitting a few emphatic volleys, things we love to see from a #1 doubles pairing. Jackson and Brandon struggled through a few inconsistent games, but were able to use their strengths in order to win the match. Bryce Miller also played to his strengths, strong back and forth groundstrokes, moving his opponent all over the court. Matthew Peters moved well to the ball, swung through most of the time. Daniel Robles played his best game of the season, not dropping a game.
And the freshman class picked up their first varsity win. But what was remarkable to me was the joy with which this class plays tennis. Sure, they mostly work hard. Sure, they mostly listen to instruction. But they play with smiles on there faces.
I hope when they look back in four years at all they've done, all they've accomplished, all the matches that they've won, all the matches they've lost, and all else that happens as they play this wonderful sport, that they look back with the same smiles they started with.
Great job, freshman!
#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-0, 6-1 - Matt Dickson (12)
#2S - Bryce Miller - 6-2, 6-1 - Pierce Frick (12)
#3S - Jacob Gonsalves - 6-3, 6-1 - Adam Baker (11)
#1D - Simon Hurst/Lane Miller - 6-0, 6-1 - Brandon Haisley (10)/Dustin Royer (10)
#2D - Brandon Nguyen/Jackson King - 6-2, 6-3 - Dennis Feitz (?)/Eric Eggerbrecht (?)
#1SJV - Matthew Peters - 8-1 - Chris Nicodemus (12)
#2SJV - Daniel Robles - 8-0 - Luke Wilson (10)