Boys’ tennis returns to Phoenix

By Rob Tetro

For the first time in many years, Phoenix will have a boys’ varsity tennis team.
Led by former Hannibal varsity tennis coach Chris Gould, the Firebirds have a couple of goals for the upcoming season. On the court, Phoenix wants to develop into a fundamentally sound team throughout the season. Off the court, the Firebirds hope to generate interest in the sport within the community.
As the start of practice neared, Phoenix actively participated in preseason activates that prepared them for short distance sprints they would be doing when practices began in early March. Gould said many of his players also took part in fall or winter sports and were in decent physical condition when practices began.
Currently, the Firebirds physical conditioning is on par with where Gould them expects them to be as competition begins. During the final days leading up to its first event of the season, Phoenix was able to focus on physically preparing to hit balls. Gould suggests it’s a positive sign if his team has the ability to handle an increasing amount of repetitions.
The Firebirds have not named captains as of yet.

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.

Share this story:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>