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LHS Boys Tennis Celebrate a Fantastic Season

Seniors+Spencer+Young+and+Isaac+Parkinson+team+up+for+their+doubles+match
Seniors Spencer Young and Isaac Parkinson team up for their doubles match

Seniors Spencer Young and Isaac Parkinson team up for their doubles match

Kemen Allen

Kemen Allen

Seniors Spencer Young and Isaac Parkinson team up for their doubles match

Kenner B., Reporter

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Dozens of neon yellow tennis balls are simultaneously swarming through the air like angry, yellow hornets. The crowd is intimate and relaxed as they watch the organized chaos on the other side of the black, chain-link fence. The cold, crisp breeze of spring weather is still trying to make up its mind as it rushes through the court. Only the dedicated survive. Welcome to boy’s tennis at Layton High.

When the tennis team returned from their tournament in St. George snatching 5th place out of 12 teams, the boys were determined to leave a name for themselves this year. They became a viable contender for the region title winning matches against Syracuse, Northridge, and Clearfield High School.  On May 5th, they gave Davis High a run for their money barely losing with an end score of 2-3. Tennis coach Mr. Spencer explained, “The Davis games are always really close… [with an end score of] 2-3 or 3-2.” Their strong season left them tied for second place overall with Davis High School, right behind Viewmont, their biggest rival, who took first. However, in tournament rankings, Layton high ranked above Davis due to athlete Tyler Gibb’s stellar singles performance at the Davis game.

The world of tennis is one that demands both teamwork and skill. If you’re looking for skill, look no further than 4-year veteran player Tyler Gibb who has played for the Layton team since 9th grade. In his singles match against Syracuse High, Gibb kept his cool. Not letting the adrenaline get to his head, he knew exactly when to smash the ball, and when to hold back for a drop shot. His opponent seemed to run every which way, exhausted by Gibb’s skillful control of the ball. Many crosscourt shots turned the match into an angle-game, but Gibb walked away from that match victorious, proving yet again what he had proven so many times before.

Senior Mason Phelps goes to slam the ball during a doubles match Photographer: Kemen Allen

Another notable athlete on the team is senior Mason Phelps, who was an honoree for Academic All-State, the most prestigious award the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) can bestow on students who have not only proven themselves as an athlete, but have also shown academic prowess in the classroom. Only a handful of students qualify for the Academic All-State award.

One of the reasons this team has been so successful is due to the air-tight friendships on the team. Senior Mason Randall explained that the whole reason he signed up for tennis was because, “Gibb got me into it.” Another senior on the tennis team, McKay Horton, said that some of his most memorable moments playing tennis were simply making friends along the way and the bus rides the team took together.

Their amazing teamwork skills are evident in watching the players leave it all on the court.  Doubles partners Jameson Stromberg and Jesse Denhalter were a great example of teamwork at their game against Syracuse. Both Stromberg and Denhalter were constantly communicating back and forth about how the game was going, who should have done what, and congratulating each other on good plays. Their teamwork skills shone through as Stromberg and Denhalter walked away from that game victorious.

No boy’s tennis team would be complete without a coach- someone who can stand amidst the chaos and know exactly what is going on. For Layton High, Mr. Spencer is that man. Out of all the tennis players interviewed, not one had a bad thing to say about coach Spencer. “He’s a player friendly coach,” said Gibb. Horton also said that Mr. Spencer is, ”Really good. He gives you a lot of freedom and gives advice if you need it.” Looking out for those that didn’t do so well, Spencer can often be heard talking with other players as to how to best help ensure everyone is at their best.

“Tennis is more of a mental sport,” said Horton. While it is true that a majority of tennis is a mind game, players need to make sure they become physically as well as mentally ready for whatever happens on the court. A tennis player’s physical physique is different from that of other sports. While upper body strength is important for serving power, players also have to be light on their feet. Playing in each tennis match is a good form of practice for players to continue to improve and learn from. Gibb explained that one way they practice is by playing against each other. Doing drills is also a component in their practice.

So congratulations to the tennis team. The team was unified, hard-working and competitive.  Good luck to the graduating seniors and the rest of the team members for their accomplishments on the court.

 

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LHS Boys Tennis Celebrate a Fantastic Season