Promising Boys’ Tennis Season Cancelled by the Virus

Haverford+High+School%27s+Boys%E2%80%99+Tennis+Team+warmed+up+before+an+afternoon+practice+in+the+pre-pandemic+beginning+of+the+2020+tennis+season.

Sara Samimi, Kathryn Potts

Haverford High School's Boys’ Tennis Team warmed up before an afternoon practice in the pre-pandemic beginning of the 2020 tennis season.

Maliha Sadaf, Staff

 
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Tennis, a popular sport at Haverford High School, first began in the suburban league in 1965. Years later in 2014, Social Studies teacher Charles Withers took charge. The sport first began as a club with a few players dedicated to playing and a coach who sought to create something even bigger. Over the years, both the girls’ and boys’ tennis teams have become stronger and more competitive with a winning record of 9-8 and 9-6 last year.

Along with success comes challenges, so how does a team overcome them? Coach Withers said, “You need to be patient with yourself. Progress looks different for every player to be the hardest working player. Watch a lot of tennis and know that your game is a journey — the way you play, you can go on for the rest of your life.” 

The boys’ tennis team, which consists of players from all grades, maintains a feeling of brotherhood.  When stepping onto the court, each player focuses on the game, but there is more to the story than what happens on the courts. Tennis player Dhruv Patel is always moving his feet, locking his eyes on the ball and anticipating where it will land. Patel is a freshman on the team, and it is his first year of playing tennis as a sport. Sharing his source of motivation to play his best, Patel said, “Mr. Withers motivates me to be a better player because he is helping me and everyone else. By this, I want to show him that he isn’t just helping for no reason. Also, he is very energetic; by seeing this, I also want to be energetic and try my best. He is just looking out for us, pushing us to be the best we can.”

Being an athlete requires great determination and stamina. Before school closed in mid-March as a result of the Pennsylvania stay-at-home order, every Wednesday after school in room 203, the boys practiced meditation and yoga to keep their minds relaxed and motivated. The new season has only demonstrated half of what the boys are capable of, and even though their season has been cut short, they have shown patience, respect, and self-reliance. Here’s to the Haverford Boys’ Tennis Team!

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