Underclassmen Take Charge of Tennis Team
BY Clarke Webster on October 8, 2014
Strong teams are usually led by experienced senior athletes, and the team itself usually consists of several upperclassmen who play and lead a small minority of younger players. People often think younger players are less experienced, more impulsive and less mature. This is not always the truth.
The Rose female tennis team boasts some of the best players in the conference, most of them being very young players. The majority of the team is made up of freshmen and sophomores. This presents unique situations that the team has to make the best of.
“I think it is a good thing,” sophomore Martha Ann Williams said. “You will be on the same team with the same people for years so you will develop stronger team unity.”
Team unity is very important on the tennis team. When faced with a powerful school, personal rivalries must be put away and each player has to genuinely try their best for the good of the team.
Leadership can be hard to come by on younger teams and is also extremely important to the success of the team. The Rose tennis team has created an environment where leadership skills are learned early, and as a result the team is succeeding.
“I think it’s better,” junior Sarah Ashley Joyner said. “You get a chance to be a leader and set an example as a younger person.”
Joyner joined the team her freshman year and like many others has enjoyed the opportunity to step up as a leader from a young age.
Freshman Frances Reed is another example of the leadership the tennis team’s environment creates. She is only a freshman but is already seen by most of her teammates as a role model and leader.
“A lot of the exhibition players have really good attitudes; Francis has a really good attitude,” co-captain junior Sarah Bailey said. “She is a really strong player and is really focused, too.”
In her very first year of high school, Reed has bravely challenged the other tennis players and advanced through the ranks becoming Roses’ new number one player. This feat took the skills of a leader to accomplish. Even with her accomplishments, Reed practices one of the most important elements of a leader; staying humble.
“The girls are all very sweet,” Reed said. “They all encourage me and they don’t think that I am trying to push them around.”
The attitudes and accomplishments of the girls on the tennis team show the merit that Rose tennis cultivates in young athletes and disproves the idea that younger teams cannot be as effective as older ones.