By: Sierra Levy and Elizabeth Salazar
For the second time ever, boys tennis won EYL. On Wednesday, April 25th, the Tulare Western boys tennis team won EYL for the second year. The first time the boys team ever won EYL was two years ago when some of this year’s seniors were only sophomores.
The boys that competed every game of this season in ladder order were:
Estevan Juarez/Nick Borja (doubles)
To capture the feeling and excitement of this event, we talked to a few of the players and got a glimpse into the time, effort, and energy they put into this season.
Scott Bell is a four year varsity tennis player as well as a captain this year. In his interview, Bell shared with us, “I was there and gave all the effort I could at games, as well as putting in hours in and out of practices. I tried to show the team that mistakes are alright as long as you learn from them and use them to improve.”
Next we talked to the number one tennis player who is a junior captain, Martin Tran.
Talking to Tran we learned his key to success that has gotten him to the level of play he is at now. “I think that the main thing that was most important for our success this season is being able to stick together through thick and thin and having the luxury of having all the guys around me to help pick me up when I’m done and doing the same for them when they need the encouragement to be motivated through the whole season,” Tran stated.
The last player we talked to was Vicente Ramos, a senior on his third tennis season. Ramos said, “I think that we were able to achieve such success since we each understood that each individual win counted towards the team win and no one player counted more than another. Therefore we all helped each other strengthen our weaknesses to ensure as a team we can reach our full potential.”
A successful program must not only have players, we work hard and practice even harder, but the coach also plays a big role. A coach is responsible for preparing and motivating the team day in and day out which is what Coach Sozinho did. Coach stated, “We did a lot of conditioning and talk about winning from day one and began talking about that back in September as we started up the season. We have a really talented team so they took care of it and used their skills to their full potential. As we head into playoffs, we play a high division so I just expect the boys to play like they have all season and it’s nice to start playing off at home. There’s a lot of private schools and they are very talented so we will have to put up a good fight, but I believe in my boys.”
The next step in the tennis teams path this season is playoffs which will lead to Valley. Unlike any other sport, tennis has both Individual and Team Valley. The Mustang boys will compete the week of April 30th on their path to get a Valley title. Talking to some of the boys, they believe they have good odds to go far into playoffs as a team, but also one individual in particular, Martin Tran, is being predicted as the Valley Champion.
As the official season closes and the boys head into the final stages, they prepare mentally and physically for the challenges in the near future.