Rising Stars


Anshul Gowda

Miles Pei ‘18 strikes the ball in practice as Kahleb Fallon ‘19 and Jack Motto ‘19 look on.

Ellis Chen, Reporter

With spring weather arriving, the City High mens tennis team is setting up for another season and looking toward improvement. The team began practicing for the new season on March 14 at the City High courts under the direction of head coach Chip Hardesty.

Despite losing star player Joe Hoff ‘17, Hardesty is confident about the team’s ability to match its 6-6 conference record last year.

“It’s very odd to say you lose somebody like Joe Hoff and that you can equal last year’s record,” Hardesty said. “I think we could equal it or maybe improve on it because of matchups with other teams.”

Although City lost Hoff, other schools in the conference have also lost their top seniors. And while City may not have a single star player, it certainly has talented players, including Diego Paciotto-Biggers ‘20 and Sam Bloom ‘18.

“We have two guys that are right now, I would say, vying for the number one spot,” Hardesty said. “That’s Diego Paciotto-Biggers [and] Sam Bloom, who’s a senior, [they] are pretty even as far as I think in their ability and their scores when they’ve played each other so far the spring,” Hardesty said.

There are also several players that Hardesty identifies as competing for spots four through six, each with their own strengths on the court.

“Returning senior Mickale Sadecky, right now, is probably the front runner for number three, and then we have a whole bunch of players that are capable of playing anywhere from number four, five, or six,” Hardesty said. “That would include Miles Morrow who’s a senior, Billy Samuelson who’s a sophomore, and Kahleb Fallon. This is his first year of tennis, but he’s a junior and hits the ball pretty decently, and Victor Kalil.”

Players are looking to improve both physically and mentally as they practice each day after school on the Little Hawk tennis courts and at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex.

“I want to improve my attitude. I play good tennis, but I’m not good at winning matches,” Paciotto-Biggers explained. “I can play well, but I need to work on pulling through in the end.”

The varsity team hopes to win its first competition of the year on Thursday, April 5 against Cedar Rapids Jefferson at Jefferson.

“I am very optimistic,” Billy Samuelson ‘20 said. “Even though the competition is pretty tough this year, I have faith in this team and believe that we can do well.”