Junior Thomas Tran with a backhand stroke. Photo by David Cartledge.
The boys tennis season is halfway over now, and they’ve had a season filled with many challenges but also successes. At this point, they have a record of 3/10. One of the biggest issues of the season so far is that Senior Captain Viktor Teague broke his leg the Monday before vacation, so he’s missed a lot of the season and likely won't be back. Although they have been without Teague, Coach Gagnon said that “It really hurt [the team] when Viktor went down.”
With Teague getting injured for the rest of the season, two first year players, Junior Daniel Augustine and Freshman Jose Mejia have stepped up to the plate, and they have performed very well. Gagnon stated that “They have been very dedicated and eager to learn.” Senior Richard Du is also new to varsity, but has played in the past. He was on the JV team last year, and is now playing for the Varsity team. Teague was the captain of the team, but since he is now injured for the rest of the season, Senior Kalsang Sonam will be taking his place. Gagnon said that “Kalsang has stepped up and that is a reason why he was made captain. Kalsang is always at practice and is very coachable”
When asked about their reaction to the season so far, Gagnon said that the team “Hasn't done so well record wise, but [their] skill is constantly improving.” The season has been very difficult for the team because Teague’s injury. Junior Thomas Tran said that “[They] started out strong but [they’ve] been in a pretty big slump lately.” And that “[He] regrets that many of [his] teammates and [he] had to miss some of the matches during spring break, which was when the slump started.”
Participating and teamwork have been a big goal that the team has accomplished so far this season. Gagnon said that he “Hoped for a few more wins.” and that it “Really hurt the team when Viktor went down. [He] is looking for 6 wins by the end of the season, but that could be a bit of a challenge because all the new players that have joined the team.”
Staying together is something that the team has done really well this season. Most of the matches they have played have been very close, Gagnon said that “[they] have learned and hopefully [they] will be ready in the coming future.” Gagnon said that “[He] believes [they] have stressed out and throw it because of the pressure. The more that happens the more [they] learn, and this will learn, so [they] can continue to improve in the future.”
According to Gagnon, some of the stand out players this season have been Naveen, Thomas, and Kalsang. Gagnon stated that Thomas is a wildcard. When he’s on he’s super tough, but [he] wants him to be more consistent. Kalsang has also stepped up and that is one of the reasons why he was made captain.” Gagnon said that Naveen has been a great addition to the team. He has rarely lost any of his matches, and when he did he played the same opponent again and won. Gagnon said that “Naveen fits in perfectly.” Thomas also stated that “Naveen has adjusted very well, and can definitely play at a consistently high level. He’s won the majority of his matches, and when he lost he came back in his rematch fiercer than before.”
So the season so far has been pretty challenging for the team, but they are trying to overcome these challenges and finish the season off strong. With Viktor getting injured and the lack of practices they’ve had, it has made the season difficult, but other players stepped up to the challenge. As a final comment, sophomore Liam Schwab stated “just watch for some Malden 5-0s”