By Rob Tetro
Looking ahead to the schedule that awaits Phoenix, Gould has highlighted the opponents from rural school districts. He feels his team has an opportunity to be competitive against teams who have programs and budget support similar to Phoenix. But in addition to rural schools, the Firebirds also will have to face teams from suburban school districts well.
Gould said he expects Manlius Pebble Hill to have another strong season, while Christian Brothers Academy and Westhill are in for solid seasons as well.
Returning to varsity competition after an extended hiatus could be a tall order for Phoenix or any other scholastic varsity team in its shoes. The Firebirds take the court as an inexperienced team. For the most part, the team lacks experience at the varsity level. They also have a limited understanding of the fundamentals of the game, which includes proper stroke mechanics.
Phoenix is striving to create interest in its tennis program within the community but sometimes the only way to do so is to show signs of life. However, Gould points out that his team doesn’t take the court without a few notable strengths.
He feels that his team is very enthusiastic, determined to improve and displays a willingness to both listen and learn. The Firebirds are expected to take the lumps that come with being a program returning to the scholastic sports scene. Inexperience aside, Gould strongly feels the strengths his team brings to the table will help them show the potential needed to set the foundation for a solid future.