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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Rain shortened season does not deter tennis team

One might say that commitment and dedication are a part of what it takes to succeed. The boys? tennis team and junior Eric Beneke have worked hard, despite the weather to continue their efforts for tennis.

Most often people dread practice and they would rather just play the games.

Not for Beneke.

?Why should rain stop me from playing the sport that I like?? Beneke said. ?You can still play tennis in harsh weather, even when it?s raining or snowing.?

As a young child, Beneke played tennis, but leaving his home in El Salvador forced him to stop.

?I started playing tennis when I was young in El Salvador, but when I moved to the U.S., I stopped playing,? Beneke said. ?I decided to start playing tennis on campus again this year because after watching the guys play; it made me want to play again.?

Beneke, along with teammates Bill Cowin, ?08, and Shane Darakjian, ?09, decided that nothing was going to stop them from dedicating every afternoon to their passion.

This spring, the boys? commitment has been tested as rain has often threatened to scuttle practices and games. While practice was often cancelled, the three continued to practice in the rain.

While a passion for the game is important for coach Ken LeRoy, he believes strategies are an important aspect to competition.

?Developing how to determine the other players? weakness is a key to learning how to win,? LeRoy said. ?During the game, one important strategy is being capable in every aspect of tennis, and not just in one area.?

The hardest part about tennis for senior Brad Smittcamp is the mental aspect.

?The hardest part of tennis is ball placement; to hit the right spot on the court at the right moment,? Smittcamp said. ?The key is making it hard for the other player to play against you. Another big advantage is to tire them quickly towards the beginning.?

While not a team sport like football, the tennis team feels relationships with other individuals are important.

?Mainly we all do our own thing as individuals,? Smittcamp said, ?but Justin Bridges (08) and David Fujihara (08) encourage me the most.?

Teammates are not the only one who can encourage, but the coach does as well.

?I can get really frustrated during the games but coach LeRoy really encourages me,? Smittcamp said. ?He calms me down, and encourages me to do better.?

Not only does coach LeRoy direct the team?s mental and technical game, but also in a spiritual way too.

?When I saw the opportunity to coach at a Christian school, I took the chance,? LeRoy said. ?I?m a Christian, so it gives me a chance to share the gospel and relate to the boys on a deeper level as opposed to a public school where there is not the same freedom.?

When he is not coaching boys’ tennis, coach LeRoy is working as a contractor in the area.

The boys’ overall record is 5-1 and 4-0 in the WSL as of March 23. The boys will next host Fowler on March 28. The tournament games are not included in the win totals.

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