KP Boys Tennis Team Looking To Return To Form
Warriors hoping to improve upon last year's performance and earn a tournemtn berth
Three years removed from their last Hockomock League Title in boys tennis, King Philip is primed to make a run at returning to the top this spring.
Having only lost seniors Tom Eaton and Tom Yang (second and third singles, respectively), the Warriors have a ton of talent returning from a team that fell short of making the tournament last year.
With the season scheduled to open next Tuesday at Franklin, only senior Mike McCarthy knows which court he will be playing on. One of three Warrior captains, McCarthy will once again take court one playing first singles for King
Philip. The senior, who plays tennis year round, went 10-7 last season and looks ready to improve upon that record.
“Tennis is Mike’s passion and he looks to have gotten a lot stronger in the off-season,” KP Coach Laurie Puddester said. “In addition to his play on the courts, Mike has been a great help to me with the other athletes.”
While McCarthy has his spot wrapped up, who gets to play seconds singles is still undecided. Puddester has three athletes battling it out to play on the court
following McCarthy. Seniors Ian Pimental and John Marinelli, another of KP's tri-captains, as well as sophomore Kevin Williamson are all entrenched in
earning the second single spot.
Pimental, who only picked up a tennis racket last spring, has improved considerably since playing doubles last year with Marinelli. The duo started the season at second doubles, but eventually moved onto the first doubles court. Williamson only saw a couple of games on the varsity level last season and, according to his coach, has not only worked hard on improving his game, but has grown taller and gotten stronger.
While it’s anyone guess who gets to play second singles for the Warriors this year, Puddester believes all three are capable of giving KP a strong showing although all three bring something different to the table.
“Jon is a strong, talented tennis player, while Ian is an athlete, a competitor to the end, who has learned the game very quickly,” the coach said. “Kevin is another ‘tennis player’ with all the skills, he reminds me of a young Mike McCarthy.”
Although only one athlete will rise above to grab the second singles position, the other two will be paired to first doubles.
Like second singles, third singles also has a battle brewing. Newcomers Matt
Nicholson and Christian Fair (also a basketball player) are fighting for the final singles slot. Fair should find a starting spot on the squad at third singles or second doubles.