A tennis hero is born

South Whidbey High School Tennis Coach Tom Kramer lays it on the line for Todd Berry before his third and deciding set. - Gayle Saran
South Whidbey High School Tennis Coach Tom Kramer lays it on the line for Todd Berry before his third and deciding set.
— image credit: Gayle Saran

A hero was born on the tennis courts at South Whidbey High School Wednesday when freshman Falcon tennis player Todd Berry clinched his team's win over Blaine.

Late in the afternoon, the Falcon boys and Blaine were tied 3-3 as Berry and his opponent, Alex Cross, hit the court. Playing in the No. 4 singles spot, Berry and Cross were tied at one set apiece, 7-6, 5-7, when the other players were packing up their rackets.

Whild Cross took a water break before the third and deciding set, South Whidbey coach Tom Kramer pulled Berry aside for a quick pep talk.

"I put pressure on him," Kramer said. "I told him it was up to him whether this meet was going to be a win for us. He could be a hero."

Berry answered the challenge and won the final set 7-5.

Watched as the pair dueled were Berry's brother and fellow team member Mike Berry; their father, Ken; the Blaine coach; and a few onlookers.

Kramer said the players were evenly matched in style and skill, but Berry was better under pressure. Both boys were exhausted when the match ended at 5:45 p.m.

"Those boys are spent," Ken Berry said.

Dad was able to be doubly proud, since Michael Berry, with partner Bryan Wilson, won at No. 1 doubles 6-4, 6-4.

Kramer said the matchup was a good one.

"This match was a good indication of where we are as a team right now," he said.

Other South Whidbey winners were the No. 3 doubles team of Bill Schneeman and Steve Pan (6-2, 6-7, 6-2) and No. 3 singles player Kai Fleming-Snow (6-2, 7-5)

Last Friday's match against Coupeville was a different story. The Falcons traveled to the center of the island to be defeated 5-2. Kramer had nothing good to say about that meet.

"We stunk, left our brains here," Kramer said.

Next up for the Falcons is a meet Monday in Friday Harbor. The boys come home Wednesday for one more meet with Coupeville.

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