By: Brian Paul
Hammond’s tennis teams made a breakthrough this season, establishing themselves as one of the toughest, most competitive teams in the county. With the boys team finishing up with a record of 5-8-3, and the girls team finishing with a record of 4-9-3, it was a solid year for Hammond tennis, especially for the girls’ team, who improved on their record from last season.
Photo Credit: Hammond HS Athletics / Twitter
The team faced plenty of challenges, but they were able to rise above and overcome them, a feat that represented the squad’s grit and resilience. Sophomore Devon Gorel spoke about thIs aspect of the team with The Bear Press, commenting, “I think one of the biggest challenges was that we were in some super close matches, but we kept falling short. Near the end of the season after all our practice, we got over the hump and we pulled through. The team really persevered and we really grew throughout the season to the point where we did really well in close matches…we never gave up and fought as hard as we could to win.”
Sophomore Austin Uwimana described one of the challenges the team was able to overcome this season, stating, “[We had] a shortage of players. It was not that bad, but there were times when we had to forfeit a few games and reschedule them, and there were also times where we would have four matches in a week.”
One factor that contributed to the team’s ability to get over the hump was the positive culture and environment built by the team’s coaches and players. Devon was extremely appreciative of the culture, as he believes it played a big part in the team’s success. “I think it’s a really supportive environment. The team is just really striving to do as well as we can and just practice as hard as we can to improve and I really think that there’s an attitude of perseverance, because we never give up and we always try our best. It’s a really good environment.”
The team’s mental fortitude taught them a really important lesson that can be carried over into next season. Devon talked about the lessons learned throughout a trying season. “Hard work and perseverance can really pay off. I mentioned that our Doubles team in the Glenelg match fought really hard and won a really close match; that kind of perseverance where even in a tight spot you just try your best and don’t give up…can make a difference. That was a really important thing we learned.”