They look pretty accurate given our scores against the teams. Congrats boys on another strong finish. I think Rockford deserves to be a bit higher, plus I think Hudsonville deserved to be on the list. The Eagles would definitely be in my top ten. Either way, we got three OK-Red teams ranked in the top 10, the most of any conference. We played 6 of the other 9 teams in the top ten, so we definitely got to see the best teams in the area. I'm all about playing quality competition. Click Here to check out the list.
Quick Recap of the Fall
Thank you for a great Fall. This is the most successful season I've seen in my 8 years years at West Ottawa, when taking into account the program as a whole. Here's what our Fall teams accomplished:
Varsity Boys: 9-0
Junior Varsity Boys: 6-1-3
Harbor Lights Girls: 10-0
Mac Bay Girls: 9-2
West Ottawa Tennis Program's Records this Fall: 34-3-3
However, that number is misleading. The two losses by Mac Bay were to Harbor Lights, so two of West Ottawa's 3 losses this year are to West Ottawa. I think it is more accurate to say that this fall, we went 32-1-3. On top of an undefeated season, the Varsity put up the following accomplishments:
OK-Red Champions (they have now won 11 of the last 12)
Division 1 Regional Champions (they have now won 10 of the last 11)
State Finals 13th Place (they have now qualified for the State Finals 18 consecutive years)
This summer was the third year of WOcademy. I believe we are now beginning to see the fruits of that program paying off throughout our programs. Next year the middle schools will welcome players who have been already playing for four years. The year after that, five. I'm excited to see what kind of results this will produce as these players work the entire way through the system.
Looking ahead to this Winter:
We are forming two new programs at West Ottawa. They started this week, but new players can always join, provided there are spots available. Here are our two new programs:
1. Winter WOcademy - We are now offering tennis throughout the winter at the Waukazoo, Lakewood, and Lakeshore Elementary buildings. Any child K-5th grade may join. We are offering a 7-week session before Christmas and another 7-week session after Christmas.
Rationale: When combining this with our 6-week WOcademy in the summer, our K-5th graders can now play tennis at West Ottawa for affordable prices up to 20 weeks of the year. Right now, there exists a small, but growing number kindergartners at West Ottawa who will have played 20 weeks per year of tennis for over a half a decade before they even START middle school. It is my belief that these very young children will someday form the first groups that can legitimately compete to win the Division 1 State Tennis Title.
2. High School Strength Training - I am paying Brian Metz out of our Activity Account to lead free strength training for all high school tennis players, boys and girls. He has begun working with the boys three times per week already, and the girls will be joining soon when all of the Fall Sports end. We train after school each Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Rationale: Our bodies are important. We want our players to be the fastest and the strongest. When a tennis player graduates West Ottawa, they will know how to safely lift weights and how to take care of their body for life. When the current freshmen graduate, they will be as fast and strong as any team at West Ottawa.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about either of these programs.
Request for Financial Contributions- These programs are expensive to run, and I am working hard to keep them either free or affordable. If you are able and willing to contribute financially, we will appreciate it. Maybe you have a business that you would like to promote by being a sponsor to the program, or maybe you work for a company that you feel would be willing to be a supporter of our program. I'd like to someday see tennis offered at every one of our elementary buildings.
Boys, I'm exhausted so this is going to be short, but thank you so much for a great day.
- Parents, the breakfast was amazing. There couldn't have been a better start to the morning.
- Boys, this was the first time in 7 seasons that West Ottawa got every flight to the Regional Finals. If today wasn't a total team effort, I don't know what is.
-Nick, Mark, and Joe, Spencer, and Sam, congrats on your regional titles today. Your player profiles are updated!
-Kyle and Hugh, way to take it up to another level today. I feel like this whole week long you have improved as tennis players. It was fun to watch.
-Coach Metz, thanks again for your presence with the team.
-Reminder, tomorrow Spencer and Sam are going to play their final tomorrow after school!
Boys, thank you for doing a great job today. I was so impressed with how you handled playing well in a high-pressure situation. On one hand you were energetic and played with intensity, but on the other hand you played relaxed and clear-headed. I could give specific examples of this from all 8 flights if I wanted to, but here is just one example: Adam and Travis, you lost the 2nd set against Grandville. You had all of the momentum going against you, but you calmed yourselves, changed your game plan, and got the win. Not only did you beat the only team in the Region that you had yet to beat, but you grew as players. You now have experience winning under pressure. You have a greater understanding of doubles tactics. And finally, you have a few specific things to work on in practice that can make you even more dangerous on Thursday. Basically, you are only freshmen in name now. You are experienced players who can come through when it counts. Period. This is the kind of thing I saw happening everywhere on our team today.
Here are some other cool facts from the from:
Finally, I just wanted to say once more how much I appreciate all of you. Just because you win often doesn't mean it is easy. If anything it makes it tougher because it can add some pressure. Know that I am not taking for granted any of the things that you guys are doing. You guys are doing something special, and I love being able to watch you do it.
Ok, I'll see you at practice tomorrow, be ready to work hard!!!