Thomas Tran serving the ball during a match. Photo archived from The Blue and Gold.
The Boys Tennis team has started their season this year, already aiming high and planning to work hard to achieve their goals.
This season, the team is led by captains Luis Gilbert and Thomas Tran. The captains, along with the rest of the team, hope to advance to the State tournament. Tran believes they have a “good chance” of making it to States this year. Tran’s goals as a captain is to “help [his] teammates improve” and get them to be “physically fit” for the season. For Gilbert, he hopes the team will end their season will a “positive record” and finish his last year on a “good note.”
Last year, the team ended their season with a record of six wins and ten losses. The team had their fair share of challenges as well, the most devastating one being the now-graduated Malden High student Viktor Teague’s ankle injury, as he was one of the strongest players on the team. Gilbert says that last season was a “building season” for the team. Tran states that they started out “strong” with a winning streak, but due to circumstances, they “lost steam” in the middle of the season. Tran calls the events of last year “unfortunate,” but adds that “that is the nature of what happened.”
The Varsity team last season had four seniors, meaning their departure “definitely impacted” the team, especially regarding the lineup for doubles, according to Tran. Both Gilbert and Tran believe that the team “will survive” despite the setback and are “confident” the players taking their positions will do “just as well.”
Both captains are seniors who have been on the team since their freshmen year. Gilbert started playing the sport because of his mother, who he credits for getting him into tennis as a child. He states that it was a dream for him to play tennis in high school. Tran was also inspired to the sport by a parent, crediting his father for first introducing him to the sport. He would play recreationally with his family during the summer, but he says that playing tennis his freshman year is what made him “really fall in love with the sport.”
The tryouts for the Boys Tennis team went well, according to Gilbert and Tran. Gilbert says that they had a lot of “returning members,” but there was also a lot of “new students” that came to tryout, adding that they are “looking good.”
Tran agrees, saying that he was able to see “a lot of familiar faces” and also “new faces” who showed “a lot of potential.” Tran adds that the new members of the team are good both in talent and in character. He admits that he does not know them “very well yet,” but hopes to get to know them better as the season progresses.
The Boys Tennis team will have their first match on April 8, 4:00 PM, at North Reading High School.