Reminder that the parent meeting is Wednesday, March 25 at 6:30PM in the High School North LGI room. All players and at least one parent are expected to attend.
Boys Plaque Presentation Information: Friday, February 13
Where: High School Girls Baskeball game (Halftime of Purple out)
Why: Recognize players for Conference/Regional Title, All-Conference, All-Area, and All-State Athletes
What to wear: Something nice. Let's set a minimum niceness level at jeans, brown/black shoes, and a dress shirt/polo/or sweater. Obviously khakis/dress pants are great too.
Note: Players will be given free admission to the game.
Girls Tennis Signups: If you look to the top of this page, you will see a button where you can sign up for Spring tennis. Here's what I need you to do:
1. Sign up
2. Get into the weight room Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from after school to 3:30 for strength/conditioning.
3. Get onto the tennis courts as much as possible. Now is the time to be playing as much set and match play as possible. The time for drilling is nearing an end, it's time to compete whenever you can.
4. Obviously, make sure you have your physical on file, but this goes without saying:)
Parents and Players,
My blog feed shows that this is the longest I've ever gone between making posts since I created the website in 2011!!! Apparently people noticed, because a few parent's even emailed me to check in genuinely concerned that I was ok, which I thought was very kind:) I had to finish my masters project this fall. It's generally a 3 month job, but I crammed it into 5 weeks because I was coaching the boys for September and October. My head has been stuck inside research articles and fortunately I didn't gouge either of my eyes out, although I came close on occasion. That ended on December 8, and after that I honestly needed some time to just relax, which is unusual for me. So enough of this relaxing, it's time to get back to work!!!!
For the first time ever, the tennis program is doing off-season conditioning as a team to get faster and stronger. The boys team started as soon as the Fall season ended, with about 15 attending each time. The girls team will be joining after the holidays, so here are the details:
Days: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
Starting Date: Monday, January 5th until the season begins.
Where: High School Weight Room in the North Building
Time: 2:50-3:30pm (lots of kids do tennis drills that start at 4pm. We must get in and get out quickly so that kids can do their other after school activities).
Who leads it: Brian Metz (a terrifically strong person who is very positive and upbeat and knowledgeable about strength and conditioning)
What is our expectation: If it is your child's goal to work towards varsity, and it is at all possible for them to attend, then I expect them to be there.
Rationale: All other things being equal, the faster and stronger player crushes the slower, weaker player. It is a must that our team participate in this if we are going to compete regularly with top caliber teams. Also, we will have a lot of senior girls on this years varsity team, so it's possible that many underclassmen will need to step up to varsity as sophomores/juniors. The same thing happened this year with the boys, with half the team graduating. Many young players will have to step up, and strength training will play a crucial role.
PARENTS OF FRESHMEN: I don't have a contact bank yet of all of the freshmen girls going out for tennis this spring. I'm relying on you to spread the word. Please let your child know that it is important to attend, and encourage them to get their tennis playing friends to come. My guess is that we will end up with a group of between 25-40 players.
Please support this program. I am using funds I've raised through the activity account to pay for this program. I believe it's what we need to take our already strong tennis program to the next level. I look forward to seeing everyone there.
Also, coming soon...Apparently, when I was doing my master's project, the All-Area team was announced for the boys varsity team. I will have a post on this soon as I gather details and update the accomplishments page. From what I heard, we did not get the selections we deserved, and I will look into this further! Another post to come soon.
Have a great holidays everyone!!!
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!!!
Boys, thank you for another very good day. Here is where you stand:
Overall Record in Duels: 9-0
OK Red Record: 5-0
Tournaments won: 2 (Traverse City and West Ottawa)
Singles Record: 63-19 (77%)
Doubles Record: 58-26 (69%)
Overall Record: 121-45 (73%)
Today's shout out goes to all of the individuals who made it through conference/regional regular season play undefeated:
Mark VanderStoep - Conference and Region at 2 singles
Joe Miller - Conference and Region at 3 singles
Nick Govert and Austin Barajas - Conference at 1 doubles
Spencer Panse and Sam Duckworth - Conference and Region at 3 doubles
Finally, I want to say thanks one more time today for the Seniors. You are a great group, and it was fun watching you play your final duel together at West Ottawa.
Ok, it's time to get to work and prepare for a very tough conference tournament this weekend!
Boys, thank you for a fun day. Grandville is a very strong team, and your performance today was solid. We had 3 flights win 3 set matches. The difference between winning and losing against great teams is very small, and you did the little things that it took to get the job done today. One of the best feelings in tennis is getting a win over someone who beat you earlier in the year. Tayler, you got a chance to do that today, and in doing so, you gave our team the win. That must feel pretty good, and I'm appreciative of the work you put in over the past month to prepare for this matchup. The same can be said for everyone on this team. Every one of you are working hard to get better each day, and it shows.
A special thanks to Coach Tim Buck and his wife. Today was Joe Miller's 18th birthday, and they treated our team with treats and a song for our favorite 3 singles player! For those who don't know, Coach Buck is Joe's uncle. So again, thank you to the Bucks and to the whole Grandville crew for a positive atmosphere. I look forward to our matches with you every single year. We know that you will fight for every point, bring great energy, and that you always have a lot of talent.
And finally, Landon has something he'd like to say:
Pam is 13 weeks along today. As of right now, all signs point to a healthy baby. This has been a hope of ours, and we are very excited.
I got to spend a most of the day on Saturday with our Future Varsity team (AKA the JV team). Wow, what a fun day! This tournament is the de facto OK Red conference championships for the Junior Varsity team each year. All of the Red teams are there along with Jenison, since they were in the Red before the re-alignment a few years ago.
Rockford won the event, and we finished just a few points behind them in 2nd place. Here were some high points on the day:
1. Jared Norwood (Senior) and Reagan McCaw (Sophomore) - Jared and Reagan played together at 1st doubles. They went undefeated on the day to win their flight. They can claim to be the best doubles team at the whole tournament.
2. Dominic Aquino (Freshmen) - Dominic played the #1 singles position, which means he played each team's best player. He won all three matches to take his flight. His three wins were by a score of 8-3, 8-4, and 8-4. Multiple coaches and parents came up to me throughout the day to comment on how talented he was. Dominic, you played fantastic all day long, and you proved that you are the very best singles player at the tournament.
3. Justin Anair (Sophomore) - Justin played 2 singles, and was runner-up at the flight. His wins include Grandville, who he beat in a tiebreaker in a terrifically exciting match, and Grand Haven, who he defeated 8-0. His final match was against Hudsonville, where he got a chance to play everyone's favorite opponent...the dreaded pusher (or as I like to call them, smart tennis players)! Justin started figuring things out as the match progressed and he got a comeback going, but he just ran out of time to catch up. My guess is that if that match were to start again from the beginning, the outcome would look very different.
4. A lot of potential - The varsity team is graduating 6 players this year. In two years, In two years, nine of the 12 players on varsity right now will be gone. We are going to need many players to make a decision that they are going to become awesome tennis players over the next 10 months. We have a lot of athletic people on this team, and a lot of hard workers. Coach Floch has been telling me about how there are some kids with serious potential on his team, and it was fun to get to see it myself.
Oh, and the special announcement will be coming tomorrow night, so stay tuned:) If you like things that are awesome, you will want to check it out!