Eli Dean

Junior Carson Palmer sends back a serve with authority across the court.

Hailey Webster, Jr. Copy Editor

With a swing of a racket, the Nixa high school boys tennis season has begun. The team has started off the season with a win against Logan-Rogersville 9-0. Head coach Slade Snowden said he is feeling confident in this upcoming season.
“I am feeling pretty good about this upcoming season,” Snowden said. “We did [lose our top two players] from last year, but we have several new players this year that didn’t play last year. We have Alvaro, a foreign exchange student that is really going to help our team, and we have four returning varsity players that are ready to win.”
Tennis is very different from any other sport.
“Tennis is an individual and team sport,” Snowden said. “The varsity will play three doubles matches and six singles matches. The team with the majority of the wins — at least five out of the nine — will win the duel. The JV will usually pair up and play doubles. The varsity will usually play eight game pro sets and the JV will usually play six games with no ad scoring. What makes tennis different from any other sport is there are not any referees. The players are their own line judges. Another difference is you are awarded points if you hit your opponent with the ball.”
Senior Brody Ball has been playing tennis for four years and said he is excited for this upcoming season.
“Coach Snowden is a great coach, he makes it fun but also coaches the team very well,” Ball said. “My family supports me playing and comes to most of my matches. I have some friends on the tennis team but some of my other friends enjoy coming to watch us play.”
Most athletes that have joined NHS tennis have had a great experience on the team.
“Tennis has a family type environment between you and your teammates,” Senior Trey Hartwell said.
When joining tennis, one should make a game plan for their duels.
“My advice to my players on winning matches is: One, know your weapon. You have to know your strength and use it well. Two, know your opponent’s weakness and exploit it. Three, be mentally tough — keep your mind off of negativity and on the game strategy,” Snowden said.
Some of the other players take another technique with keeping the basics in mind.
“I’ll try to see if my opponent gets mad easily and if so I will push to get them even more mad,” Ball said.
Snowden said there are many struggles that go along with being the coach.
“The struggle of being a coach is balanced,” Snowden said. “Balance between coaching and my regular teaching job and balance between coaching and finding adequate time with my family.”