Boys Tennis charges into state tournaments

Brook Wang-Swiontek, Staff Writer

As classes and clubs start slowing down preparing for finals and AP testing, Lake Park spring sports are in full swing. Lake Park Boy’s Tennis is no exception. As the days get warmer and the grass grows longer,  the tennis team starts kicking into full gear.

With this current group of players, the team has high expectations for themselves. Over the past month, both players and coaches have been working hard to prepare for another grueling season as they enter for the DuKane Conference for its debut season. On Saturday, April 20, both varsity and JV entered competitive tournaments to test their competitive preparedness. And while the conference season has had its downs, the positives are something to look at in the eyes of the coaches.

Varsity Coach Tim Martin has his eyes on the upcoming second half of the season and what should be a pivotal time in the season for both varsity and JV players.

“It is our goal to keep improving throughout the season and play our best tennis in the biggest events.  We hope to qualify multiple players to the state tournament, win 70% of our matches, and finish in the top half of conference. ” said Martin, when asked about his outlook for the rest of the season.

And while these are lofty goals, they seem pretty achievable to the team, who hold themselves to high standards.

“We can accomplish these goals because we have strong senior leadership and a very deep team. Our newcomers to varsity are really playing well, and our experienced players have continued their winning ways. We have a tight knit team that competes hard,” said Martin, expressing his belief in his players and team as a whole.

But as the sectional and state tournaments approach in May, this team will not be resting on their potential and past success.

Players and coaches will be putting in the work they believe is necessary. They are competing at every match, and working hard at every practice.

JV Coach Craig Cichowicz talked up the team’s hopes for the rest of the season, “My personal goal is develop these athletes to get them where they need to be on the next level. That means working everyday on the skills and strategies needed to win on varsity…each match matters to these guys as they head into the sectional tournament in May.”

While the competition will be tough, Coach Cichowicz believes he’s found the strength in the team which can help take them over the top, “Everyone is here and working hard to get at the level they want to compete at. It’s great to see these players getting here early and even staying an hour after practice to get  that extra hitting in… it just shows their commitment to their own individual success, which helps the team succeed.”