Coming back from a season of tough losses, the Malden High School boys tennis team has certainly more than made up for last year’s record with a final record of of 10-5 and spot in the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association state tournament. Through perseverance and hard training, as well as the guidance of coach Jayson Payeur, the team was able to accomplish this as well as many more firsts.
According to Payeur, he is “extremely happy,” with what the team has achieved. He states that they have all earned the wins, both individually as well as a team. Despite the “adversity the team faced throughout the season,” such as injuries and terrible weather, according to senior Danny Yu, the season could not have finished on a better note. The team practiced over the summer and winter in order to be in the best possible condition when the season began. Despite recognizing that there are still things which the team can work on such as their accuracy and consistency, Payeur is proud of the entire team, especially those which he has had the privilege to see “grow, as tennis players and as people.”
Despite having lost both of their matches to Cambridge Rindge and Latin, the MHS tennis team’s GBL rivals, Payeur claims that the losses were only a “small part of the season compared to all the great thing the team has and will accomplish.” He also states that many players returned from the summer far more skilled, and as a result were able to contribute much more to the team.
Junior Eugine Szeto echoes this sentiment and states that many all the players returned with “more experience,” as well as a thirst to win.
For junior Piero Pocobene the change from last year has been drastic and his favorite part of the season, aside from the wins, has been “watching the team progress...from one of the worst in the league to one of the best.” A large part of this success he attributes to Payeur, stating that he was an “instrumental part of the team.”
From organized and helpful practices, he also was a motivating force to the team and helped the them “bring home the wins.” Senior Danny Yu believes the same, and also that Payeur “inspired the team to win, even at difficult times.” Pocobene claims that the season would not have been as much of a success without him and all the hours he dedicates to the team, despite his personal life and all other commitments to MHS.
Looking to the future, senior captain Allan La hopes that the tennis team “continues to grow and win,” despite the loss of the seniors, who have always been a crucial part of the team. Pocobene also hopes for the continued success of the team as well as another “successful season, and just to have fun.”