The tennis team has gotten the opportunity to continue their season despite the changes made from COVID-19. They have started to implement rules such as wearing a mask before and after practice, check-in during a match, social distancing in their huddles, and while they are meeting the other team.
The boy’s tennis team have made multiple adaptations this year from their coaching to the way they play. Recently a new coach, Dell Pride, was hired and despite the team's new Coronavirus guidelines, he has made a strong impression on the team.
“I would say the hardest thing is to adjust to the new coach for sure. We went four weeks without one so we’re kinda just getting adjusted to his new system. Everything is going well right now and we’ve been handling it really well,” senior Will Matchett said.
Despite Pride being recently hired in August, the team is appreciative to have a coach after practicing without one for four weeks. Since it is a new season and a new coach, everyone has to acclimate to everything.
“When you remove the social side of tennis with our opponents the overall sportsmanship is going to change. I guess the challenge would be to find more ways to be more friendly and respectful as well as show appreciation,” said Pride.
With tennis being a non-contact sport, a positive mindset is extremely important. This helps players maintain a good relationship with their opponent, which is usually done by exhibiting sportsmanship. Without being able to do things like shake hands at the beginning of the match it is hard to have a genuine connection with their opponent.
“I think coaches are learning not to worry about kids as much [since] they are showing that they are handling adjustments very well,” said Pride.
While some other states are completely closing down their sports, a lot of Indiana schools have been allowing them to continue. Since sports are such a huge attraction here at Warren, for them to be able to play this year is a monumental moment. One of the biggest concerns is how to actually run a sports team this year.
“I think youth, in general, is quicker to adjust because when you're older you get a bit more grumpy since you've been doing everything a lot longer. You guys are more open to change and all the high school kids and younger parents think this is a lot more horrible than it actually is,” said Pride.
He seems very adequate with the progress and everything else the boys have been showing off since he arrived. While he has been figuring out how to coach the boys some of the other players have had individual conflicts of their own.
“Not playing during quarantine [was tough] because it was a long time before I started playing again,” said freshman Evan Wilson.
With the long break from the sport, it may take a bit of time before everyone is at the top of their game but, everything will continue to run smoothly despite all the recent events.
“My last couple of years we've come up a bit short, but hopefully this year we will be able to get past sectionals. That's something I've been wanting to do since my freshman year,” said Matchett.
Everyone is rooting for the boys to get farther then they have over the past couple of years. With a couple of new people in addition to some of the older players leaving this year could have a completely different turnout.
“I think this team has a lot of potentials. I like everyone. If everybody puts in the work during practice then we could have something really special this year,” said Matchett.