Rally on the Courts


Ben Samuelson, Editor

 The Rock Island High School Boys Tennis Team has many players who are  a part of the team that know what they want to do and how to do it, in particular, players on the Varsity squad. Peyton Jones (12) is coming off a season where he and his teammate, JJ Willhite, made to the IHSA State Tournament, even though it didn’t end up the way they wanted. “It’s taken me about 9 years, too long in my opinion, to get to this level. Competitive tennis has been a part of my life since I was in 6th Grade. It has always been my dream to make it to the State Tournament,” noted Peyton. The boys had a good overall season, with some ups and downs throughout, but nothing that can’t be fixed. “I need to work on my back handed overheads because that is one thing I really struggled with last season,” noted Peyton. On the flip side, Peyton, like most athletes that have things that are second nature to them, there are aspects of the game he may find quite easy, and does not struggle with as much. “My net play is probably one of my strongest attributes. If I’m able to put it into a spot where nobody can hit it, I’m going to be a real force come meet day,” noted Peyton.

Even though he was on the JV team this past season, Cohen Crawford plans to make a step to the Varsity squad come season time. “I MUST be committed, for sure. Last year, I wasn’t sure about tennis, but now I am for sure going 100% into the sport,” Crawford explains.  All aspects of a sport are important, regardless of whether you are on the Freshman, JV, or Varsity team, every person has a part to play and a role to fill when it comes to support and cheering on teammates. “There are so many teammates that do standout. They are such great teammates and players, so it’s hard to choose just one. Every person on the team is good in their own respective ways, so trying to find a player I would like to work towards becoming seems almost impossible,” noted Crawford. Cohen also has  ideas on what he believes are his specialties and weaknesses. “Quickness to get to the ball in a tough spot is probably my strongest aspect, seeing that I play soccer, and have some speed and agility on the field. However, I feel like I really need to work on my power-hitting and serving the ball before the season hits,” Crawford said.

In the end, all people have a role to play, whether on Varsity or JV. With Peyton Jones on Varsity, and Cohen Crawford looking to make a step up from JV, everybody is talented. However, in order for one person to accomplish his goals, he must have support from everybody throughout the program. Every program is a family, and we all must act as one in order to go on and do big things.