Starting Anew: Boys’ Tennis, 2022

Despite an overall loss to the Culver City Centaurs, the Warriors have an optimistic outlook on their upcoming season. Varsity player, Nick Hoang (12) expressed, “I look forward to making new bonds with my teammates and our new coach, especially given how COVID played a role in our last two seasons.” With their first official League match on March 3, the team continues to persevere on and off the court in hopes of going far this season.

Art/Photo by Samantha Takeda

Despite an overall loss to the Culver City Centaurs, the Warriors have an optimistic outlook on their upcoming season. Varsity player, Nick Hoang (12) expressed, “I look forward to making new bonds with my teammates and our new coach, especially given how COVID played a role in our last two seasons.” With their first official League match on March 3, the team continues to persevere on and off the court in hopes of going far this season.

Sarah Han, Staff Writer

   For some people, spring means that flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing, and the leaves are turning green. For others like the boys on the West High tennis team, the turning of the calendar signals the beginning of a new season of tennis as they win, lose, and learn with each new team that they play. 

   The sun was shining brightly and a slight breeze filled the air at their first match on Wednesday, February 16. Head coach Mr. Chou gathered the team as they huddled and put their hands together in the center, encouraging each other on. 

   After hours of intense playing, the team ended with a score of 7-11 against Culver High School. The boys, however, weren’t discouraged. Varsity player Darren Kawazoe (10) reflected: “Going into the game, I was really determined to win, but afterwards I knew that I still had a lot to work on and you couldn’t win them all.” Similarly, Nick Hoang (12) stated that he tried to keep a “cool, level-minded mindset while still trying to play aggressively during the points and show lots of energy.” In fact, after the game he felt “tired but in a satisfying way, like [he] left it all [on the courts].” He mentioned that “it was really nice to get back into the swing of things for our first game and make an impact.”

   The beginning of a new season means different things to different groups of people. For freshman Ethan Kang (9), it was motivation to improve. From the practices so far, he felt like he was “learning a lot by playing with others in the team” and the match helped him realize he had “a lot of room for improvement.” For others like Hoang, starting a new season felt “nostalgic” since this is his last year with the team. Still, he was optimistic. He added, “it’s also awesome to see all the new members and the excitement they have for the sport; I know the team is in good hands.”

   In fact, those hands are Mr. Chou’s. He hopes to see his players “grow individually” and to “help them focus on not only playing to win, but playing to improve” Overall, Mr. Chou said that his main goal was to see his players try their best. He expressed that he was having a difficult time trying to balance coaching both JV and Varsity, and wanted to be able to “give each of them full advice without being spread too thin.”

   It seems that Mr. Chou is doing his best keeping a good relationship with the team. Kawazoe described him as the “definition of a coach,” and who “constantly encourages everyone and provides tips on everything.” Not only that, but he has also cultivated a positive environment for the boys to thrive in. Kang described his teammates as “supportive and nice,” mentioning that there is a lot he can learn from the upperclassmen players. Together, Kawazoe believes that “the team can achieve great heights this season.”

   Although no one knows what the future has in store, these boys have great excitement and hope for a successful and bright future this upcoming season. As they continue to play against more schools (and even play against Culver one more time), we wish them the best of luck.