Although Oxford High School has had a girls tennis team for the past four years, this is the first year there has been a squad for the boys.
Together, the team is hoping to pave the way for future players.
“Our number one goal is to make this a long-term, successful program. (We’ll accomplish) that through small, achievable steps… each day, each practice and each match throughout the year,” said Head Coach Ryan Ruzziconi.
Though new to the sport, the players continuously bring unconquerable energy to the court.
“One of our strengths is just the enthusiasm,” Ruzziconi said. “There’s been a lot of interest in having a boy’s tennis team at the high school and, now that we have it, they come to practice well-prepared and that translates well on the court. They’re eager to learn and they’re putting in the time, not only during practice but also on the courts.”
“I think (our goal) is just getting the experience of tennis, which can only come from playing,” he continued. “The experience of being in practice and learning the fundamentals of the match-play (and) strategy when you’re in matches (is vital). That’s probably their biggest weakness right now. Some of them have played United States Tennis Association junior leagues, but most of them haven’t. The weakness is definitely the experience factor but we’re working on that,” said Ruzziconi.
Ruzziconi named juniors Drew Galley and Connor Romine as team captains at the beginning of the season.
Singles players, freshmen Hayden Durant and Trevor Wallace, were singled out by Ruzziconi.
“I think those guys have really stood out, not only for their leadership ability, but also their playing ability and their drive and ambition in practice,” he added.
The team is currently 1-6-0 overall in the Oakland Activities Association.
“We just hope to keep building the tennis program now that we’re in the high school and hopefully, we’re going to get together and work on having a middle school program, as well,” Ruzziconi said.
The team will finish up the season at 8 a.m., Oct. 6 during the MHSAA Regionals held at Clarkston High School (6093 Flemings Lake Road, Village of Clarkston).