Hopefuls Try Out For Syosset Boys Tennis Team
Before anyone could step on the tennis courts Thursday afternoon at , the snow had to melt. While the sun swept away the water and ice from the playing surface, it did little for the cold and wind.
That’s the nature of spring sports. As one coach said last week, “Spring is a relative term.” But don’t expect the boys setting out to be on the tennis team to use the frigid conditions as an excuse. After all, they were warned.
“You need to be playing year round to be successful, especially at the top singles positions,” Head coach Shai Fisher said. “I’ve warned them for the last three months, ‘start playing outdoors.’ I don’t care how cold it is, you’ve got to get used to the conditions.”
According to Fisher, it’s easy to tell which kids have been playing outdoors.
“They’re more comfortable,” he said.
Tryouts are meticulously structured, with the coach standing in the middle of the courts, trying to absorb as much of the action as possible.
“I try to give everyone an equal opportunity and get them as much playing time as possible,” Fisher said. “I’m trying to get a really good look at each player. You try to be as fair as possible.”
More than 30 boys have come out for tryouts this year. Although varsity tennis matches require 11 starters, there is no set roster size maximum. That gives Fisher a lot of flexibility when putting together a final group.
“It all depends on what the kids prove to me,” Fisher said. “I have no problem opening up one or two more spots for kids that are hard working, dedicated, and have a great attitude.”
Once the final team is selected, practice will be mainly devoted to doubles play.
“Doubles is where a lot of kids need the most work,” Fisher said. “When they take their lessons and play USTA matches, a lot of them are only playing singles. They need a refresher course on doubles. We go over positioning, types of shots to hit, and communication.”
Last season the team bowed out of the playoffs in the first round, losing to Great Neck North 4-3. Fisher hopes for a deeper run this year.
“Your ultimate goal is always to win the county championship,” Fisher said. “We are still a young team, but we had a young team last year and finished second in the conference (A-I). Hopefully that experience will help us improve.”
The Braves open the regular season on April 5 at 4:15 p.m. They will play their first home match on April 11.
BravesGoals4Autism Starts Season Off
While the is only two games into the regular season, the autism awareness initiative known as BravesGoals4Autism and BravesSaves4Autism is already in mid-season form.
For every goal and save produced by a Brave this year, a donation will be made to two local autism awareness charities.
According to information provided by the charity organizers, six players have secured pledges totaling nearly $1,500, and $650 was donated at last week's Syosset Lacrosse booster club silent auction.