For the Patterson Irrigator
While the storm clouds gathered above, the Patterson High boys tennis team gathered for a practice instead of their regularly scheduled match at Patterson High School against Central Valley on Monday, March 31. The rain, which coursed down before the match even begun, made Central Valley rethink their efforts in jumping on the bus towards Patterson.
After a severe outpour, the decision was made in tandem with both teams to reschedule the tennis match for next Thursday, April 3, at Patterson High.
But with hopes of getting in some practice, 8-year coach John “Buzzy” Wheeland started his boys’ team into some drills. With a record of 1-6 so far this season, he’d like to get in as much practice as possible. After a very successful season last year, Wheeland was forced to say goodbye to seven seniors and hello to a whopping new clan of first-year start-ups. Out of a 19 members of his squad, 14 are freshman, he said on Monday afternoon.
Many of the team member have had their first competitive experience just mere weeks ago in their first meet.
With that being said, however, Wheeland has the option of molding these young potentials into athletic superstars by the time they reach their senior year of high school. But as of right now, Wheeland must teach them how to overcome their inexperience by sticking to the basics of the game.
“I get this kids out here and go over the basics for as much of the practice as I can,” said Wheeland. “They seem to pretty much take in what I’m teaching them and then in the matches I’m wondering what happened to them. Who are these kids? All of a sudden swings and misses and short armed swings are happening. Not so in practice. I know it’s nerves. With each match they play, and each season they get under their belts, the better and more confident they will become.”
After 30-minutes, the wind and rain claimed the court, confirming that it would indeed have been a wasted trip by the visiting Central Valley Boys Tennis team to play a game Monday afternoon. The results of the match will be put off until Thursday, April 3, at Patterson High School.
Randy Sawyer is the temporary sports writer for the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at RandySaw1@gvni.com.