With only one senior graduating, three All-NVL athletes still playing, and two NVL championship titles, the Boys Tennis team has quite the list of expectations for this upcoming season. But despite having these expectations, their motto remains the same—“Expect Nothing. Earn Everything.”
Last year, the team finished their season off with almost a perfect record, winning seventeen matches and having lost only one match to an out of league team, Lewis Mills.
For the second time in a row, the boys clinched the NVL Brass title and then went on to win a back-to-back team NVL title. Along with the team title, now graduated Jimmy Tompkins and now senior Steve Pec won the NVL doubles tournament. Now a senior, Kyle Beynor went undefeated for the 2012 season and then went on to win the Singles NVL tournament for the Hawks.
For the 2013 tennis season, the team wants to start strong—making themselves immediately dominant from the beginning.
“It looks like we’re going to have a really stout ladder this season,” said Coach Jim Amato, “we’ll have several returned players who will help lead the way like Kyle Beynor, Steve Pec, Matt Murphy, Pat Dietz, Chris Zmuda, and Mike Ventimiglia who have already played in some emotional, close matches.”
The Hawks are looking to benefit from the experience they have gained in the past three years to their advantage.
“Teams may be returning players,” said Amato, “but we are basically returning an entire team.”
The Hawks will maintain their ego of being one of the strongest in the NVL, but being overconfident is not an attitude they are looking to adopt in the upcoming season.
Despite defeating Wolcott in the NVL tournament the past two years, every match has been close. It has come down to each individual player on the court. And this season, the Hawks are looking to renew their rivalry with the Eagles.
They will have their obstacles in the NVL, but the team wants to become powerful in not only the NVL, but in the state. The Hawks will be playing two out-of-league teams this year including Lewis Mills and East Catholic High, both of which bring a lot of talent to the table. No matter the competitor, however, the Hawks will take each match day by day.
“We prepare to be the best team we possibly could be and play whoever shows up,” stated Amato.
With nearly the entire starting lineup returning from last year, the Hawks standards are remaining high. But this year, they are looking to focus on more than just winning—they are looking to rebuild. Next season, the team will be graduating nine seniors, all of which play in the starting lineup. The team has no sophomores, but they do have five freshmen. Amato added that he is looking forward to building those five freshmen into the tennis program.
Focusing on rebuilding and consistency, the team is hoping to continue on with the success that they have seen in the past.
Amato stated, “Our goal is make states, qualify the entire team for states, qualify as many people as we can for the NVL tournament, get as many medals as possible, and go as far as we can in states.”
The Hawks will take on Watertown in their first match of the season.