Tennis team hopes to continue season

Ian Wesselhoff, Multimedia Editor

The boys tennis team played their first game on March 10 against West Aurora, and this season looked to be a strong one in the making, before games had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus.

“The team’s goal was to place first in conference and place higher in all singles and doubles positions. The new teams in our conference would have been an additional challenge that our team would have had to overcome,” Christian DeLeon, senior, said.

Despite having retired from teaching last year, John Bayer retained his position as coach and had high hopes for this season.

“Success is a combination of both winning and improvement, and the improvement leads to wins,” Bayer said.

While team success is at the front of everyone’s minds, that doesn’t prevent players having high personal expectations this year if any games are still able to be held.

“We also hope to place well individually as well, with some team members hoping for state,” Reza Alvi, senior, said.

The sense of community within the team is as strong as any in the school, and that kind of chemistry always bodes well for creating a team culture based on effort.

“My favorite part about playing tennis is being able to compete with my close teammates and friends, and to work hard to become better as a team,” DeLeon said. “I believe the tennis team is made up of people who work just as hard as athletes from other sports and are able to be as competitive.”

When a group is as close as this, having a positive outlook is much easier, and this team is an example of that.

“The guys are always optimistic no matter how we do in a match, and the spirit the team has is truly unbeatable,” Alvi said.

Tennis is not exactly among the most popular sports here in America, and these players think that should change.

“Many people don’t understand how the sport even works,” Kevin Cheung, senior, said. “It is truly an amazing sport to both watch and play.”

Alvi compares the conditioning required to that of other sports like baseball, and other players can attribute the general overlooking of tennis to people’s focus on such sports.

“I think tennis is an underappreciated sport because it does not get as much attention as other sports like basketball, baseball, volleyball, and track. I think part of the reason is because younger athletes are exposed to sports like basketball and baseball more often than tennis,” DeLeon said.