Varsity tennis is 9-2 for the season, which began on April 3, but the ultimate goal isn’t to just win, it’s to “make the men’s tennis team better players,” Coach Terry Verstraete said.
Verstraete said his greatest goal for the team is “for everyone to graduate and pursue some other type of education.” Then he added, “For the young men to walk away as respectful and as class acts.”
Verstraete said one of the team’s greatest accomplishments was “watching our JV team players turn into good tennis players.”
Verstraete said one of his personal accomplishments was being the first tennis coach at Webster to beat Kirkwood since 1968.
About who contributes the most, Verstraete said, “Everyone, it’s a team effort. We need everybody.”
About who has the leadership qualities, Verstraete said, “The six seniors would be the leaders.”
This would be because senior Max Yusen is hard working. Also senior Jack Kincaid is diligent and thorough when it comes to improving his game. Senior Charlie Sears is a fighter. Senior Isaac Schmitt always leads by example. Also senior Lucas Doll is soft spoken but well respected and very liked and appreciated by his peers, and last would be senior Max Umali, who is passionate.
On April 17, Yusen played a match against Parkway South and played the top ranked player in the country. Tennis was down 1-3 but came back with an exciting 5-4 win.
Sophomore Joseph Castleman has played tennis for five years and plans on playing all through high school.
Castleman said, “Tennis is a mental sport, and it’s tough when you’re the only one out there.”
Castleman said Kincaid and Yusen are very supportive of everyone on the team and have really stepped up as leaders.
Castleman’s “best” match was last summer, and it took two hours. He won this match but said it was very close.
Castleman added, “Tennis has taught me not to give up and just to keep going no matter how far you think you may be down.”
The next game will be against Kirkwood on May 2.
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