Today's college spotlight goes to Jon Hoffman. Jon graduated in 2012, and of all the player playing collegiate tennis right now, he may be the one you should get the most excited about. Unlike others highlighted below, Jon did not play 1 singles at West Ottawa. He first made the West Ottawa varsity team as a Junior, and played two years as a doubles player (although I should mention that he was a VERY good doubles player). Not only is Jon playing for Hope, but he is one of their Team Captains. Anyways, the point is that Jon proves you don't have to be a four year starter in high school or a 1 singles player to play college tennis. So, if you are an underclassmen on the JV team and want to play college tennis someday, it is possible...you just have to get working very, very hard. Great job Jon!
We've got a lot of WO Tennis grads doing some great things right now, and I want to keep highlighting it whenever I can. Casey Foster played 1 Singles for our girls last spring. After graduation she headed out to Wheaton College, where she tried out for and made their tennis team! Casey is pictured in the back row and is the third girl from the left. Great job Casey!
In case you want to keep following him along, here's what Nick has been up to lately. His coach told him that he came in stronger than expected, and that he wanted to burn Nick's redshirt (that means he wanted him to start as a freshman on their varsity team). A varsity starting lineup has 6 players on it, and it looks like Nick played the 5 spot recently. He just won a tournament and improved to 5-3 on the year. Click Here for a link to the writeup on Nick and Western's team. Keep it up Nick! We also have two other recent graduates joining the college tennis ranks, Mark VanderStoep (Hope) and Casey Foster (Wheaton). I'll keep you informed with their progress as I learn more information. It's definitely great to see our graduates having success.
After Strength/Conditioning or school ends, I've noticed that it is becoming very common for there to be several players outside on the tennis courts getting better at tennis. In fact, I've been asked by people in the program to make sure the nets stay up for as long as possible. So, yesterday I emailed the head grounds person and Mr. Marsman requesting that the South Courts have the nets kept up until at least after Thanksgiving. If you want to keep working on your game, then ask a friend to bring their racket and head out there with you after school. If it's not raining, chances are you won't be the only ones hitting. If you need balls, let me know and I'll make sure you have the supplies you need.
Finally, thank you for your hard work. Our program has incurred above average success, and that stems from many individuals make individual choices to be successful. I made this post because I want to encourage these choices to continue, and to say THANK YOU. Occasionally I feel like coaching takes too much time, and that it may be easier to allocate my time elsewhere. But then I look in the weight room or outside on a cold fall day and see things like this, and it reminds me of why I love being part of this program so much.
We have officially begun our off-season strength & conditioning. If you are not planning on being in a winter sport, plan on training with us. We had 27 players attend today's conditioning workout. That is a great turn out for day 2, but I KNOW we are missing people. I want you here with us getting better!
Girls, we are getting you ready for your spring season. Guys, we are getting you ready for tournaments in the spring and a lot of hard work in the summer.
WHO: JV and Varsity Tennis GIRLS AND BOYS
WHAT: Strength & Conditioning
WHERE: North Weight Room.
WHEN: 2:55 - 3:30 Monday/Wednesday/Thursday
WHY: Because being stronger and faster will make you a better player. And it is awesome.
HOW: Coach Metz wants you to be awesome. One way is to be awesome at tennis. Another way is to work out all winter.
Questions?: See Coach Metz, Justin Anair, Regan McCaw, Hannah Karp
Date: Tuesday, October 20
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: High School North Building in the LGI Room
Who will attend: All players, parents, and even children/grandparents etc. may attend (but if they do email us so we know to expect them).
What to Bring:
1) Uniform, washed, in a bag with your first and last name on the bag
2) Food/Drinks (see email from Deanna and Daniele for details)
What happens at the banquet:
1) Food / Socializing
2) Recap of JV season / letters distributed
3) Recap of Varsity season / letters distributed
4) Varsity AND Junior Varsity Special Awards Named
Click Here to see the awards as well as last years winners
5) The offseason training plan is laid out for all players
Note Changes to Banquet made last year: Last year we changed the structure of the banquet to give a far greater spotlight on the Junior Varsity program. The future of West Ottawa Varsity Tennis IS the Junior Varsity Team, so we are definitely continuing that this year. Please make every effort to attend.
Players and Parents,
Yesterday was a tough but good day. Had the tournament gone according to our seeds, we'd have taken 4 place. Becuase of our strong play, we edged Hudsonville to take 3rd. The top two teams qualify for the State Finals, so we were very close.
Congratulations to Sam Duckworth, Regional Champion at 4th Singles. Also, congratulations to Travis Bethke, Regional Runner-up at 2nd Singles. Also, in case we have visitors, congrats to Grandville and Rockford for advancing to the state finals, as well as to Daniel Henry (KC) and Julian Buchan (Cal) for advancing as individuals. Congratulations to Coach Matt Tanis of Hudsonville on being named Regional Coach of the year. He's a person whom I have a great deal of respect for. It was definitely a tough tournament yesterday, and we were right there till the end.
A few housekeeping details:
1. Year End Banquet - I'm working today with our team moms and my wife to find a good day for the banquet. It will be in the next few weeks. Information to come shortly.
2. Uniforms - Now is the time for all Varsity and JV players to get their uniform together in one place and washed. They must be turned in at the banquet.
3. Strength/Conditioning - Begins Monday, October 19 for all Boys and Girls in the tennis program. We will lift after school Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. If you are not in a winter sport, we will see you there. We had over 20 people each time last winter, and we expect that number to be much larger this winter. This is free.
4. Club Play - Now is the time for you to be having conversations with your parents about a winter tennis play at either MVP or Dewitt. If you are able to, hopefully many of you are signing up for either drills, lessons, and tournaments.
And finally, just so Sam doesn't get too big of a head after his brilliant performance yesterday (and so Justin can get some deserved paybacks), here's a youtube video for everyone's enjoyment...
This is the 3rd time I've been able to make it out to one of your matches. By far the best tennis I've seen so far. Energy was far higher than previous matches. Specifically, the footwork was much crisper, the way that you celebrated after winning points was far more positive, and just the general energy that comes out of a person who is trying their hardest. Also, it was just great to see a team full of players crashing the net. Win or lose, you kept coming in. That's important, because it's really the only way you can win at the varsity level.
Thanks to all the players for making this happen, it was good atmosphere. Thanks also to our coaches for continuing to push the players in this direction. I not sure I can, but I'll try hard to get out here this Saturday for the JV invite. I'm curious to see how our scores compare to the first time we played these teams.
West Ottawa Tennis
High School Boys Tennis begins Wednesday, Aug. 12
at 9:00 am at the HS South Courts. Click the button below to sign up!