Boy’s tennis enters season with new coach



Junior Joey Cecchi (left) gets ready to hit the ball with teammate junior Ben Cummings (right) during practice. Photo by Nick Powell

Sophia Woods, Sports Editor

Boy’s tennis is swinging into the season with the addition of new JV coach, Matthew Kozum. 

Replacing former JV coach Amanda Aronson, Kozum is enthusiastic to be coaching this season.

I am having a fantastic time thus far working alongside [varsity] Coach Walter and the boys’ tennis team of PNHS,” Kozum said. 

Although his first foray into tennis, Kozum “…played every sport as a kid” and is hopeful for success.

Kozum is excited to assist the boys to exceed their fullest potential as athletes.

“On the obvious end of things, we play to win our games,” Kozum said. “On the other hand, we are also trying to develop our players to grow into varsity athletes. If we lose a player by promoting him to varsity- then so be it.”

Besides the actual tennis aspect of it, Kozum is finding joy in his bond with the team.

Being a math teacher, I also love to frequently tease the boys about their math knowledge and give them verbal pop quizzes,” He said. “ We already have established some hilarious inside jokes and our bus rides are a blast.”

With a mix of new and veteran players, the season is shaping up to be one for growth. Along with a new coach, the team is also seeing an increase in new players this year. A little over half the team is composed of freshmen or new athletes looking to try out the sport for the first time .  

“For my first season, I hope to increase my value to the team,” Freshman Arjun Deb said. “I also want to vastly improve my skill level by being open to criticism and building myself up from it.”

Junior Trent Barma believes that beginners provide a good start to a fresh team. 

“They allow for older players to form new friendships with the new players,” Barma said. 

Skills such as different strategies and unique approaches all assist in creating the traits of a new team.

“The new players also strengthen the team in a certain area where the players that graduated may have not been as strong in,” Barma said.

The varsity team however is looking at a year of accomplishing goals and improving strategy. 

My goal each year is for our team to be playing our best tennis at the end of the season.” Varsity coach James Walter says.

Walter is working with the boys to adjust to the competitive aspect on varsity that is less prominent on JV. 

  “..there is always a lot of learning from our warm-up and practice routine to some of the strategies used when playing either singles or doubles,” Walter said.  “There is also a big difference in the quality of opponents from the JV level to the varsity level which our athletes need to adjust to throughout the season.

The team has been working hard to improve on strategy and overall gameplay. Doubles teams in particular are focusing on the chemistry in the game.

“Working with my partner helps to keep a positive attitude and he keeps my head in the game,” doubles player sophomore Brian Leigh said. 

Leigh and his partner freshmen Gavin Galias have been working together to improve their record this season. 

“Brian is pretty cool,” Galias said. “I think our strong friendship improves teamwork.” 

First singles player junior Devin Briick has his own personal goals for the season as well. 

“This season I plan to improve my game but overall enjoy the experience with my team,” Briick said. “I want to qualify for state so I will have to work hard to prepare.”

Senior Adrian Songco is hoping for a similar outcome. 

“My goals for senior year are to win first at conference and at least qualify for state,” Songco said.