MHS boys’ tennis players are also friends

By Felicia Whatley - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Wed., Apr. 25, 2012
An MHS tennis player pairs up. Photos by Felicia Whatley.
An MHS tennis player pairs up. Photos by Felicia Whatley.

The members of the Manchester High School’s boys’ tennis team are friends on and off the court. The young team is rebuilding after last year and they are hopeful to make it to the state competition this season.

“I am learning different techniques. This is a great group. I have friends on the team,” said senior Joseph Maggiore.

Captain and senior Paul Maloney plays the number-one singles match. He has played tennis all four years of high school. “We are a very young team. This year everybody who has come back is showing the ropes to the young guys. We have a good team. We will make it to the state tournament this year,” he said.

Junior Sam Iacobellis also plays singles. He has been playing tennis for five years. “I like that this is a complete body sport that I have to be conditioned for," he said. "Our team has a good chemistry. We are looking forward to playing good tennis this year. We need to win at least half our matches to make it to the state competition,” said Iacobellis. “We need to work on playing with intensity consistently to put effort in every match.”

The team is a tight-knit group, said coach David Maloney, who has been the MHS tennis coach for 30 years and has been teaching social studies at the high school for 31 years. “The team has had a pretty good stint, having improved from last year and filling good roles. The [weather] conditions have been great, so we have been able to play outside every day and get lots of practice time,” said Maloney.

The coach commended the strength in the singles players and looked toward the future. “They have done a really good job. We want to qualify for the state championship in June. I hope that everyone makes improvements and gets better as players,” he said. “We play in a very competitive league and the teams we have to beat are a challenge.”

The MHS boys’ tennis team is a small team of 18 players. “It is a tight little group. They have friendships outside of the court, too. The best thing is that a lot of these guys will be playing forever. Some will play in college and then with friends and relatives,” said Maloney, who also played on the MHS tennis team when he was in high school.

Assistant coach Ryan Jones talked about the team and their esprit de corps. “The kids are wonderful. They work hard and always put forth a great effort. They help one another. They play with each other often and treat one another as friends. We look forward to more good weather, many matches to play, and a chance to play at state,” he said.

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