What’s All That Racquet?

A mid-season check in with the boys tennis team.

Victoria Weckmann, Reporter

From smashes and topspin shots, to lobs and dropshots, the 2019 boys tennis season thus far has been an eventful sport, and despite some crushing losses, they are optimistic as ever.

“The season is going okay, I don’t think we have won a meet yet,” said Elliot Tomek ‘20, a junior varsity player. “I also have not played in one yet.”

One of the things which helps the team to stay positive is their shared love of tennis. Satchel Cochran ‘20, another junior varsity player, shares his thoughts.

“I just love the sport itself and the welcoming laid back attitude of the team.”

The easygoingness revolving around the sport seems to be a common attitude among players.

“Junior Varsity is pretty relaxed, it is mostly about [building friendships]. It’s a good atmosphere, and the coaches are really nice and chill,” Sam Strathearn ‘21 said, a third member of the team.

During some of their practices, the boys participate in what some would consider some very laid back activities.

“Our normal practice consists of playing singles or doubles for about half an hour, then we play rush and crush,” Cochran said. “It is a fun game that the whole team plays for the rest of practice.”

For those who are not familiar with the activity, Jacob Strathearn ‘19 explains how the game works.

“There are two ‘kings’ at one side of the court and everyone else is in two separate lines on the other side. When it is your turn, Chip throws you the ball and you’ve got to try and win the point. However if you hit the ball out then you have to go to the back of the line. It is pretty exciting.”

The love of rush and crush seems to be a common occurrence among other players on the team, which helps to push teammates closer together.

“We kind of do whatever we want until Chip says it’s time to play rush and crush,” Sam Strathearn said. “And then we play it and it’s really goofy.”

Along with the more fun aspect of the game, rush and crush prompts competition among the players.

“[My goal for the season is] to defeat everyone at rush and crush,” Jacob Strathearn said. “And,  if you hit the ball out then it is culture to throw your racket at the fence and act as if you are in great despair which makes people laugh.”

Including dramatic portrayals of disappointment during rush and crush, the team also participates in other traditions of tennis.

“At the end of each practice, Chip always yells ‘whos cheese is it’ and all of the players respond ‘nacho cheese,’” Jacob Strathearn said.

When asked about this, Sam Strathearn responded in an admiring way about the tradition.

“That exchange is the best thing [to use to] explain what junior varsity tennis is like,” Sam Strathearn said.

Jacob Strathearn clues us into yet another common practice of the boys tennis team.

“At meets, we always blast loud music in the back of the bus with the speaker. [Every sports team does that,] but we do it right.”

And through every practice and meet, the members of the team all seem to view Chip, the coach of the team, as a very positive force.

“One of the reasons that I like tennis is because I like Chip a lot,” Tomek said.

Jacob Strathearn had a similar opinion to that.

“Chip motivates the players and he’s really good at tennis.”

So despite some of the team’s losses, they have managed to stay positive about each other and what is to come.

“Well after meets we frolic around holding hands because of our bonding time together listening to very explicit rap music,” Jacob Strathearn very jokingly stated.