Boys Tennis Deals with Setbacks from Missing Season

Malachi+Nye+%2722+warms+up+in+preparation+for+his+match+against+Waterloo+West.

Anna Gayley

Malachi Nye ’22 warms up in preparation for his match against Waterloo West.

Julianne Berry-Stoelzle, Executive & Sports Editor

After not being able to have a tennis season last year because of the pandemic, many players on the City High boys tennis team have had to start at the basics.

“The team is very inexperienced, but they’re learning really fast,” Chip Hardesty, the head boys tennis coach, said. “[Missing last season] I think just sort of broke the rhythm of interest.”

Therefore this year Hardesty is focusing on building up those basic skills for the boys who need it. The number of boys on the teams is around 22, close to half of what it was last year.

“I’m using this season as a big opportunity for everybody to learn and get experience. I’m working hard to make sure that that happens,” Hardesty said.

Instead of using the ICCSD vans to travel to meets, the team now uses school buses for social distancing. This has the added benefit of allowing more athletes to travel to meets.

“They will all have a chance to play at some varsity match at least once, maybe more than once,” Hardesty said. “We’ve gone to Dubuque already, that was our first meet. I think I took 11 or 12 people, and everybody got to play.”

One of the biggest differences between this year and past years is that City High’s tennis teams no longer have their own facilities to use for practices. Therefore the teams go to Mercer to practice. 

“You have to worry about transportation and, especially for freshmen and sophomores, I think it puts a burden on parents to drive them if they don’t can’t get rides,” Hardesty said. 

However, according to Hardesty, transportation has not become a major problem this season and he is very happy with the motivation he has seen on the team.

“Even though it’s a short season a lot of people are beginners when we start after spring break and by the end, if they keep coming to practice, they get much better,” Hardesty said. “I take pride in that because you’re teaching a bunch of people how to play tennis for the first time and it’s not it’s not as easy as it looks on television.”