Another season has arrived for the Malden High School boys tennis team as they return to the tennis courts in Amerige Park along with their new coach and MHS gym teacher, Jayson Payeur. The former coach of the tennis team and math teacher, Berenice Diaz, was not able to coach this year due to taking a graduate college course, therefore the new season was welcomed by Payeur with new goals and high expectations. This year is a rebuilding year as the team lost six seniors who contributed greatly to successes of last year.
These six graduated members include Andrew DeLacey and Jackie Tran, who were both captains of the team, and former members Tuan Phan and Jeff Duong, who were all key players. The past year, the team managed to take home the Greater Boston League championship. Since the members are no longer on the team after having graduated, this year’s boys and coach are looking to come up with new strategies that will allow them to win the GBL championships and hopefully qualify for the state tournament.
This year, the new captains of the team are seniors Christopher Li and Matteo Pocobene. Li, who has been on the team since his freshman year, has high expectations for the team. As Li stated, “I expect new and returning members to work as hard as possible to work on their mind game and as well physical,” commented Li. As apart of their role of being captains, Li and Pocobene look to encourage the team to work hard to prepare themselves for the new season.
Some of the returning members from last year include the Blue and Gold Editor-in Chief, senior Omar Khoshafa and seniors John Zhang and David Lam, as well as sophomore Danny Yu. Senior Daniel Rendon who has played for the team for both freshman and sophomore year will also be making his comeback to the team as well. Rendon was not able to play for the tennis team last year due to family issues. He stated that his decision “was a sacrifice, but definitely one that had to be made and one that [he] would do again if [he] had to.”
Li believes that the team will be able to win another GBL title. Li stated, “since we lost valuable players last year, we don’t have the same depth as we used to. To achieve our goal of becoming GBL Champions we are going to have to work a lot harder than the previous years. People are going to have to step up and learn to live and breath tennis, meaning members of the team have to be motivated to be better.”
With the expectations that they have among themselves, hard work and sportsmanship, the boys tennis are anticipating on another well-played and better season.
March 2013** Correction: Page 12 should say "Class of 2014 Presents..."**