BY ANDREW MORALES
After school, kids rush over to Pioneer Middle school, rackets in hand and with the desire to get better. As the kids walk onto the tennis court they are immediately handed a can of balls and begin to hit. With every swing they begin to warm up and focus on their technique, making little adjustments to get the proper space to hit the ball, concentrating on footwork, and keeping a strong mental attitude throughout the whole practice. As there muscles loosen up and their minds begin to focus, it’s clear that every member of the team is out there with the purpose to get better for not only themselves but for their teammates as well.
As practice goes on each member works on drills, working on making their shots into weapons as well as making their weaknesses into strengths. As matches progress it gives the team a chance to evaluate each player and to inspect how well they cope with pressure and the stresses of actual match play. Regardless of who won or lost, the team helps critique each player and complements them on what they did good. This is how Cooper City has built success with their tennis team.
“Match play is vital for a player, it challenges them to stay focused and positive, because the second you start doubting yourself or thinking that you’ll lose, that’s the second you’ll begin to lose the match,” senior Nate Promkul said. “It makes you a better, more confident player.”
With the team being ranked third in the district last year and having great athletes, Cooper City High has a great legacy of boy’s tennis players and for our girls team they’ve had a great history of match wins under their belts as well. However, with last year’s boy’s head coach Mr. Tully not coaching the team this year, Mrs. Cardona, the girl’s coach, has to take on the responsibility of both teams.
“It’s somewhat of a challenge handling both but it’s fine with me, if that’s what it takes to keep the tennis team going,” Cardona said.
That’s not the only change from last year, due to time concerns and convenience of having courts down the road all practices have been moved to Pioneer Middle instead of Embassy Lakes. Also this year has found fresh new faces to the team. Many of the kids have been training all summer to prepare for the up and coming season.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about the new kids, they’ll be great new assets to the team,” senior Vincent Ong said. “Once they start practicing and getting accustomed to the other players and getting used to playing as team we’ll have a really strong team.”
As practice continues players will begin to rise above others and the rankings will go up. Only time will tell if the boys and girls tennis team can live up to their reputation.