AT boys tennis started its season on March 7 and is looking to find its rhythm during a season plagued by a small team size and lack of experience.
The team is set to have its first match of the season at Lisle High School on March 21 and host its first home game of the year on Apr. 5 against West Chicago. Coached by Justin Hegner and Chris Grice, the boys have only a few returning players this year. Among the returners is junior David Valverio, who is on varsity this year and has set goals for his in-conference successes.
“This is my second year playing so I’m definitely a lot more skilled now,” said Valverio. “My main goal right now is to get all conference and do overall pretty good as a team.”
The team also has a few new players, including sophomore Freddy Ramirez-Carbajal. Ramirez-Carbajal expressed optimism about the upcoming season.
“For one, I’m looking forward to being on varsity,” he said. “My goal is to get better at tennis because I just started playing it,” he added.
While AT is embracing its inexperience and improving each day, the team is also suffering due to its size. Because the outside season can not start formally in the cold weather, other sports gained a head start and recruited more players. Due to the small size of the team, there is room for every boy on the team so far to make the varsity squad.
“We’re very short,” said Ramirez-Carbajal. “There’s not enough players; we need more.”
“We’re trying our best to get as many boys to join as we can but we still don’t get enough recognition,” he said.
The team is still working to recruit more teammates as matches approach and experience doubles. The boys encouraged everyone interested in learning a sport or just having fun to come out and give tennis a swing, saying that being a part of the tennis team is a worthy use of time.
“It’s honestly a really fun sport, and if you’ve got nothing better to do outside of school then tennis is definitely a good way to get physically stronger, mentally stronger and honestly it’s just very helpful in every way,” said Valverio.
Ramirez-Carbajal agreed, explaining that tennis is fun without being too difficult for players who are just beginning to learn the sport.
“It’s not as hard as other sports but it’s actually really fun and it can teach you valuable skills like hand eye coordination,” he said. “And it can help you get in good shape,” he added.
The boys will look to gain enough experience and players for their upcoming games and conference matches. All boys of any grade level who are interested in joining the team should contact the coaches, who can be located at the tennis courts outside the field house after school or reached via Dupage88 email.