Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Big Words from Triton


Psalm 133
How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!

It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,

running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.

It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.

For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.

On Saturday, the temperature was a gorgeous 75 degrees in the morning. I got to the tennis courts just before everyone else, after having a good breakfast and getting to sleep in. And I pulled into the stillness of the morning at the courts, all things seemed to be in the right place. 

Players began arriving, but there was a lightness to the day. Triton arrived with their 11 players and began to warm-up. I had a pleasant and long conversation with Allen Peckham, Triton's coach of several years. Our guys got ready and prepared for the match. Joel Yoder had me go put my birthday surprise in the refrigerator :-)

As we started the match, 3 positions their individual matches playing and hitting well, with #3S and #2D. But even at those positions, there was no feeling of panic. More a feeling that some correction was needed, and at #2D that correction came quickly. Without much coaching from Seth or I, Dustin and Lane recognized their errors and turned the match around quickly. In fact, from 3-1 down they didn't lost another game the rest of the match.

Daniel needed a little bit more direction to pick up his energy and pick up his game. But he was able to adjust at the end of the first set when we decided to start playing "Sword and Shield." It's a game we just started this week at practice, and it paid immediate dividends for Daniel.  As other matches ended, guys were able to come down and watch him and give him vocal encouragement as well, which was great. After a sluggish first set, Daniel burst through the final two with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win.

Most of the other matches on the day were not really close in score, but I thought that we played extremely well. Byeong played a quick and solid match at #1S, and Jonathon probably played some of his best tennis this year to pick up his first #2S victory. Simon and Brandon started strong and faded late, but still got a comfortable win. The JV matches were fun to watch, Caleb has really started to figure out the groundstrokes, Lucas was moving forward to hit balls to the corners, Liam used all sorts of shots to win his match, Joel consistently got the ball in the court for the win, Tommy hit some killer shots and Jacob is beginning to show signs of varsity doubles talent.

After these matches were over, the guys went back out to play some more. Jackson went to hit with Dustin. Philip and Tommy played a singles match. Chris Craw played doubles with the other freshman and Joel Yoder. Byeong, Brandon, and Lucas hit together. And this is some of my favorite time of the match, where some of the most beautiful things happen. These are the days where we really feel like we are doing things together.

And so I thought of Psalm 133, grabbed one of Joel Yoder's delicious cheesecake bites, rubbed my beard thought: How good and pleasant! 

It wasn't over exciting, wasn't stressful, wasn't adrenaline filled, it was just fun. We played well, we cheered for each other, we ate yummy pizza, we sang, we hit tennis balls. This is it, this is what we play for. Moments like the dew of the morning before we've walked through the grass to the courts. Moments like laughter at Tommy's second drop shot of the match. Moments like Lane and Dustin's head nods as they already knew how to correct what was going wrong. Moments like fist pumps and smiles as Daniel makes a comeback. Moments like chocolate turtle cheesecake melting and running down Matt' beard :-)

How good and pleasant!

#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-1, 6-0 - Mace Eads
#2S - Jonathon Yousey - 6-0, 6-1 - Aaron Stichter
#3S - Daniel Robles - 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 - Carter Kuntz
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 6-0, 6-3 - Keygan Mosier/Chase Butler
#2D - Lane Miller/Dustin Miller - 6-3, 6-0 - Grant Eib/Tyler Heckaman

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 6-1 - Jared Bules
#2SJV - Liam Bradford - 6-0 - Trevor Miller
#3SJV - Caleb Shenk - 6-0 - Gavin Greer
#4SJV - Joel Yoder - 6-0 - Chase Waybrew
#1DJV - Jacob Woolace/Tommy Nguyen - 6-0 - Jared Bules/Trevor Miller

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