Learning season for JV tennis

Daniel Richards, a sophomore, was one of nine players on the Falcon junior varsity tennis team this season. - Gayle Saran
Daniel Richards, a sophomore, was one of nine players on the Falcon junior varsity tennis team this season.
— image credit: Gayle Saran

It was all about learning the game and developing poise on the court for the Falcon junior varsity tennis team this season.

Nine boys, most picking up a racket for the first time in their lives, turned out and played eight matches, winning four of them.

The JV tennis team finished their season Wednesday night by beating Marysville. Though winning was not the emphasis for the team this fall, it was nice when it happened.

It didn't happen this time around for sophomore Daniel Richards, who won the first set of his singles match 6-2 before losing the second 2-6 and the tie breaker 7-9. But he learned a lot.

"It was a very challenging match," Richards said. "I played hard and we had a lot of deuces, but I missed the last shot and sent it into the net."

Richards says he is looking forward to next fall and hopes to make the varsity team.

Another team member, freshman Oliver Shafaat, was also new to the game this year. He played both singles and doubles, partnering with Rhys Stanley.

"I enjoyed playing doubles the most, and will be back next year," Shafaat said.

Winning isn't everything to coach Nancy Ricketts, who said she prefers to work with individuals on improving basic skills while developing teamwork. For that reason, Ricketts doesn't like to single out individual players for public praise. Nor did she keep a record of match scores.

"Now is not the time to pick out individuals," she said. "They are in the learning stages of the game, and every member of this year's team has worked very, very hard."

Overall Ricketts is pleased with this year's crop of players.

"They have grown as a team and I expect some of them will go on to the varsity team next year," she said.

Learning good sportsmanship is another important aspect of team tennis.

"Players do their own scoring, call their lines," Ricketts said. "Good sportsmanship is necessary even when the opponent is not displaying the same."

The players were moved around throughout the year playing both singles and doubles.

"This was to give them plenty of experience, in all areas."

Members of this year's JV squad are Max Burr, Nathan Driscoll, Clynton Easley, Jesse Hauberg, Daniel Richards, Oliver Shafaat, Joey Sousa, Rhys Stanley and Christopher Tribou.

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