Serving Up Memories

A tribute to the El Modena Boys Varsity Tennis Team for always managing a positive attitude

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Throughout my two years at El Modena on the Boys Varsity Tennis team, I have looked forward to the last period of the day and even spending a significant amount of time after school practicing and playing matches with a group of people who share my passion for tennis. Although this year has been cut short due to a pandemic that the team’s excitement for the season could not cure, the team still maintains the determination and positive attitude reminiscent of every match.

   When surrounded by my teammates who care about others and who always strive to play their best, I feel the power of a unified friendship where encouragement benefits everyone. Each player on the team recognizes this feeling and embraces it, which leads to the admirable atmosphere.

   My journey on the team started freshman year and I felt comfortable playing matches from the beginning because of the team’s positivity. That feeling carried over into the little time we had in the 2020 tennis season and gave me even more confidence, even with a prompt season cancellation.

   Before the state issued the stay-at-home order, my team and I were determined to perform at our highest level in order to defend our title of League Champions that we earned last year. It was the first time in El Modena’s history that Boys Varsity Tennis had gone undefeated in every League match, and we were not ready to let another school hinder our attempt at pursuing a streak. Each player, including the ones who recently moved up to Varsity, knew the importance of maintaining that title that everyone had played so hard to achieve the previous year.

   The team exhibits outstanding leadership that keeps everyone motivated to carry on the legacy that we set for ourselves last year. Acting team captains and upperclassmen Henry Mull (junior), Alex Davis (senior), Nathan Tjoa (senior), Aaron Stone (senior), Josh Pongco (junior), and Patrick Cox (senior) all lead the team during matches and when drafting a dance for the annual spring assembly.

   Our team takes the prospect of winning seriously, but also loves to laugh and tell jokes to lighten the mood. In fact, one match last year involved taking the Varsity Baseball players to Los Angeles before the bus took us back to play El Dorado in Placentia. At the time I had no idea that such a long bus ride would turn out to be the situation where I would laugh harder than I ever had before that ride.

   The absence of a highly anticipated season disappoints our team, especially the seniors who have worked so hard to improve in hopes of having a final successful season. However, their memories of the fun times on El Modena’s Varsity Tennis team inspire an attitude of gratefulness for the amazing opportunity that they got to experience.

   Seniors Alex Davis and Nathan Tjoa share their fondest memories of their experiences on El Modena’s Varsity Tennis team. “My favorite memory was when our team went undefeated and won League last year. I also went undefeated and was League champion, which I trained hard to accomplish,” says Davis, the team’s number-one singles player. “My favorite memory would be the postseason team drills and banter,” says Tjoa, one of the team’s number-one doubles players.

   My experiences on the tennis team would not have been possible without the help of our committed coach, Coach Mull. Through healthy days and injuries, he has persevered to convince us that El Modena’s Tennis team has the best sportsmanship, plays hardest, and recognizes the true value of practice.

   We may not get to finish our season in the conventional way, but my team and I have created memories that will last through years to come. When our seniors graduate, we will have to step up and take the reigns in hopes of defending our rightful place in El Modena’s Boys Tennis history. Overall, my experiences on my team have been constructive and endlessly entertaining. The impact that my friends and this opportunity has left on me, in less than the equivalent of two seasons, has already improved both my game and my whole high school experience.

 

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