JV boys tennis started this season with a record setting number. They had 30 players show up, which was the largest turn out the team has ever gotten.
The big group of players only had two weeks to practice before they had to compete in their first games. Because of that, Sam Kurucz, JV tennis coach, had to decide which players should be matched together very fast.
For JV, picking partners is a little more casual. Some people are even able to stay with their friend, like Jack Stilwell, junior. Stilwell said, “I joined last year because Sebastian Palczynski, junior, and I decided to try it out. We ended up being on the same doubles team, so it really worked out well.”
The 14 doubles teams were then ready to play. Each pair of players is ranked based on skill level so that they can play students from other schools who have similar expertise, and so that it would be more competitive and fun. Kurucz said, “At the beginning of the season, it’s usually fairly easy to figure out the ranks of the teams. There’s players who have been playing for a couple years and there are others who have never picked up a racket before.”
Josh Klein, senior, and his partner, Jack Maniatis, senior, were the #1 team for JV. Klein said, “Jack Maniatis and I won 10 games out of 13 and were close in our 3 losses.” Stilwell and Palczynski alternated between the #4 team and #3 team. Stilwell said, “I’m guessing we won about 8 and lost 5 of the games.”
As a whole JV team, they collectively won over half of their matches with other schools. Kurucz said, “We absolutely dominated Chaparral, Ponderosa, Heritage, Denver South, Arvada West, and we did very well against Valor.” There was also an end of the season tournament, where HR JV came home with a couple 3rd place finishes.
Even with all their wins, JV tennis maintained to be a good sport for people interested in a non-stressful environment. Stilwell said, “JV tennis is not too much work, but it’s a lot of fun! There’s always a drive to do better.” It is a very low commitment sport with a short season as well.
Players do not have to make a lot of sacrifices when it comes to school, work, and even other sports. Kurucz said, “There are a lot of sports at Ranch where coaches don’t want you to play another sport; you have to dedicate yourself to your sport year-round. In tennis, we realize that high school is your time to try things, so we encourage multi-sport players. Playing more sports makes you a well-rounded athlete.”
The whole team considered this year a success. Kurucz said, “It’s a positive sport that is growing every year. We had a new head coaching staff for varsity and they had a good attitude that trickled down to JV.”
Taylor Means, Print Editor