Boys Tennis Pulls Off The Improbable

A Rebel tennis player serves the ball

A Rebel tennis player serves the ball

Aidan Lancaster

A Rebel tennis player serves the ball (Photo/Aidan Lancaster).

There has been only one Walpole High sports team to make their tournament every year for the past eight years: Boys Tennis.  The Rebels had an up and down season this year, blowing out opponents in some matches and being blown out  in others.

One word to describe the Rebels season would be average.  The Rebels finished the year 9-9 on the year and made the tournament for the ninth straight year.  The Rebels are a talented team led by senior Captains Pat McKernan and Phil Chen.   When asked about the leadership qualities of his captains, senior Brian Lotsbom said, “They have installed a winning attitude on the team this year”.  Lotsbom, juniors Alex Fraser, Zach Rogers, Nate Cameron, and sophomore Andrew Morrier fill out the rest of the starting lineup.  At times these boys have been spectacular, but unfortunately they also blundered many games.  The highlights from this year came from doubles partners Lotsbom and Rogers.  These two played great tennis together.  Balancing their attack were skilled single players Fraser and Mckernan.  Cameron said “All of these guys practice really hard, and it is good to see it pay off on the court”.

The Rebels struggled to win consistently, but when they did they pounded their opponents 5-0 and 4-1. However, when they lost they lost big.  The Rebels’ losses were crushing ones.  The losing scores of their lost matches were either 5-0 or 4-1.  In fairness these loses have been to the best teams in the league, Wellesley and Needham.  The Raiders and the Rockets blew out the Rebels in their three meetings by a combined score of 15-0.  When asked about the tough defeat junior Nate Cameron said “For all of those games we needed to show up with our A game and we simply did not”.  When asked how you think a rematch would go, Cameron replied “If we bring our best game anything could happen”.  The Rebels are no stranger to big losing streaks.  They dropped three in a row to Newton North, Wellesley and Brookline.  They lost these games by a combined score 15-0.  They also lost to Needham and Framingham back to back without recording a point.

The Rebels have shown grit throughout their season.  They beat one team this year over .500, that being Weymouth, by the score of 3-2.  The Rebels faced off against the Wildcats five days later and lost 4-1.  Fortunately, the Rebels beat the teams they had to beat; such as Catholic Memorial and Natick.  A true sign of the Rebels grit is their performance in close games.  In games decided by one point the Rebels are 3-0.

The weather has not been on the Rebels side.  They had five games postponed which threw the Rebels off their game.  On the delays Roger said “It was hard to prepare for a gem and have it cancelled, and then know that you have to do it again for four days in a row”.  Despite being plagued by rain delays and forced to play three and four matches in four days the Rebels did muscle their way to a record around .500.

Going into the last week of the season the Rebels needed to win three out of their last four matches.  They lost to Framingham on Monday, May 21 by a score of 5-0.  The Rebels had to get focused and win the rest of their matches or else their season would be over. They looked to bounce back against Catholic Memorial on Tuesday but it was rained out. On Wednesday, May 23 the Rebels were able to defeat the Norwood Mustangs by a score of 4-1.  They went on to win their next two matches; thus, making the torunament.  On the late season stretch Camerson said “It was great being able to win out the last week and making the tournament”.  When the stakes got big the Rebels came to play.  They beat Milton and Catholic Memorial in the last two games of the eyar by a combined score of 8-2.