Tennis team ramps up for season


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After winning a point, seniors Dillon Youngberg and Kenji Yanaba encourage each other as double partners.

With winter transitioning into spring, members of the tennis team find themselves making the daily walk up to the courts with goals for the season.

“I hope to get better, I want to make my serve harder and more consistent because my goal is just to lose as few of matches as possible. I think Kenji is going to try for the same thing,” senior and varsity player Dillon Youngberg said.

Last season Youngberg, with his partner senior Kenji Yanaba, placed second in the state doubles tournament.

“I have played tennis for about 10 years. I joined a group at Forest Lake Tennis Club, I joined there and I just hit with the other kids and just kept on playing,” Youngberg said. “In the beginning I didn’t really hit good shots, but now I feel that I have more confidence with my shots and can hit them where I need.”

Similarly to Youngerberg, junior Matthew Dixon first picked up a racket at a very young age.

“My dad has been playing tennis for his whole life and asked me when I was eight or nine if I wanted to start playing, so I just started hitting lessons and have been playing ever since,” Dixon said. “Starting out, the hardest part was the lack of competition [in practice] versus in actual match play, like I was good at hitting drills and had solid strokes but in matches the biggest challenge was being nervous and focusing on how to hit like I know how to hit.”

Youngberg, Dixon and the entire team have a new head coach: Physical Education teacher Katelyn McCreary

“It’s been a little different because of our new head coach, Mac, she’s a P.E. teacher so the conditioning is a lot more rigorous, we have been running twice as much than the previous three years combined,” junior Shubham Vyas.

For the previous 13 seasons, math teacher Jason Townsend was the team’s head coach.

“I don’t think coach Mac taking over has changed the team at all, she was the assistant last year so I am used to her as a coach. Her coaching style is similar, but we tend to do more warm up stuff,” Youngberg said.

Embracing the changes in the coaching staff in his fourth year of varsity competition, Youngberg has hopes of playing in college.

“I’m going to Meramec [community college] for two years because of the A+ program, and if where ever I transfer after that has a team, then hopefully I will be able to play for them,” Youngberg said. “ I really enjoy the tennis team a lot, and I will miss the kids that I make friends with on the team.