Nathan Hood— 21 November, 2016
The time is 7:30. The place is the Ben Davis tennis courts. The event is the 2016 Sectional Finals. Senior Drew Shriner, after a long and grueling match against Ben Davis’s number 3 singles, emerges victorious from the fiery gauntlet of competition. His face expresses the purest mixture of excitement, elation, and accomplishment. This timely win allowed the Warriors to bring home the sectional trophy and advance to Regionals.
An interview with Shriner helped to provide some valuable insight on the season. When asked what the highlight of the season was, Shriner responded confidently with “being stormed on the court after winning sectionals and then being presented the trophy.” He also commented on the team’s accomplishments as a single unit. Shiner said, “Honestly, this wasn’t the most talented team I’ve been a part of, but we went farther than any team since 2011 so in that sense we were better.” The Warriors finished with a winning record of 9-7 on the season. This was a great accomplishment for these Covenant athletes. “Considering we lost a lot of seniors and that Chris Bailey left, we had a great season,” explains Shriner.
Because they lost a lot of key players, many younger and inexperienced players had to fill in the gaps. “Nick Bailey, Flash [Nate Flasher], and Luke Susud all were in their first year, but that didn’t stop them from playing varsity all season and contributing in a big way,” Shiner stated. He said it was not an easy season. “It was difficult having such a young team.” He said the rookies had to step up this year. “Team chemistry improved a lot and also the effort level in practice.” This year’s young team went above and beyond the goals that were set for them. Shriner was pleasantly surprised by the results of the season. He says, “As a team we performed way above expectations and won sectionals, so it was really great as well.”
Freshman Nick Bailey, was one of those young players that stepped in to fill the gaps that were left empty. Specifically, he played in the number one varsity singles spot this year. He provided some insight on what it is like to be a freshman. “It was hard to adjust at first,” said Bailey, “but once I got to know everybody, they really accepted me into the team.” Bailey spoke on the importance of having older players around to help him improve as an individual. “I definitely saw my skills improve from playing other players that were better than me,” said Bailey. He also emphasized how the team was able to bond as a unit despite major age differences. “We did really well as a team and got closer together,” continued Bailey. This season was not without its lows, however. “There were a few points in the season where the whole team didn’t really get along,” explains Bailey, “and that’s when we started losing, I think.” He also stated that he was pleased with the season in general. He said, “I was pretty happy with the overall record…I mean, that’s a winning record, so I can’t be mad at that.”
Congratulations to the 2016 Boys Tennis Team on their major accomplishments.
Nathan Hood— 21 November, 2016