GREEN Green High School first-year head tennis coach Mike DeAntonio faces an interesting and challenging situation as his team takes to the new tennis courts at the Green Sports Complex.
The team is composed of 17 members, of which 10 have previous experience on the team. The remaining seven are new to the team, but of these, three - all freshmen - have won the three individual singles positions, while the two sets of doubles are held down by a senior, two juniors and a sophomore.
"I have a lot of new guys," said DeAntonio. "The freshmen have a lot of drill experience, but will pick up a lot of court experience as the year goes on. I expect my doubles players to start to gel as the season progresses. Overall, I think we have a good chance to finish third or fourth in the Federal League and win over half of our overall matches. I'm also hoping to alternate some of the boys in the doubles rotation to give them a chance to play and gain experience."
The three freshmen singles players are Logan Langovsky at first singles, Dylan Westmeyer at second singles and Ramiro Garza at third singles. The first doubles team is composed of junior Adam Moresea and sophomore Prashanth Ragunanthan. The second doubles team is made up of senior Jared Kungle and junior Matt Hippich.
Kungle, one of the team captains, saidh feels a lot better than last year about the team.
"The team is looking good," he said. "As for playing doubles, I prefer that to singles, it feels more natural to me. This is my first year on the varsity and I want to get better and win as many matches as possible."
The other team captain Moresea, who is now has three years of varsity experience.
"I like playing on the doubles team, it is my favorite team," he said. "I feel more relaxed but also more competitive. I hope we will win a lot of matches, and I would like to improve my game for next year."
Langovsky is probably the best player on the team, according to DeAntonio.
"I love playing singles," Langovsky said. "I don't have to rely on anyone else, it is just me out there. If I lose, I have no one to blame but myself. I'd like to make it through the sectionals to the district and maybe to state, but I know that is going to be hard.
Westmeyer not only is adjusting to high school competition, but he is doing it in an unexpected spot.
"I prefer doubles, but the coaches have helped me improve to the point that I can play singles," he said. "Now, I'd like to stay here, I have come to enjoy it."
The team has gotten off to a 1-1 start to the season and, according to DeAntonio, the new courts have been a great boon to the tennis program. He cited the financial support provided by Green Tennis Club under the leadership of Boyd Elliot in helping with the cost of the wind screens around the court.
"This year, I am also hoping to have the boys help in various community projects as a way of giving back to the community for all their support," said DeAntonio.