Boys tennis players attribute success to improved team dynamic

Emily Mabbitt, Sports Editor

Head tennis coach Steve Lemon said good tennis players need to have a good work ethic, a good attitude, be willing to be coached without taking it personally, and have a short memory. 

“Our sport is one of the most mental sports of all,” Lemon said. “If you lose a match, or even a point or a game within a match, you need to be able to forget about it and move on.”

Senior Tyson Forbes, who has recently moved up to #3 all-time at Bellevue West in career wins, said this year the team dynamic is the best it’s ever been.

“We all support each other the best we can while having fun along the way,” Forbes said. “The atmosphere this season is the best I have seen in awhile.”

Senior Brandon Rasmussen said the team’s upbeat and focused dynamic helps them have fun throughout the season but also get the job done. 

“Just knowing we all have each other’s support is just great when playing matches,” Rasmussen said. “I enjoy competing with friends and having fun while doing it the most.”

Junior Jeremiah Witkop said his favorite thing about playing tennis is the amount of control he has on how the game goes. 

“There is so much strategy in tennis,” Witkop said. “The variety of options and technique keeps the game exciting, because you decide how every point ends up.”

Witkop said the team has had many accomplishments this year such as being back-to-back champions at the Bellevue West invite, winning the York invite, and pulling off a Millard sweep, a defeat of all 3 Millard schools.

“Not only do we get along, we also play well together,” Witkop said. “We have a great team and can do some real damage and have this season.”

The way Lemon coaches changes every year as he adjusts to getting to know how his players play. 

“Throughout the season and throughout multiple seasons, I kind of get to know each of the players and how they perform best during competition,” Lemon said. 

According to Witkop, Lemon is hard on his players in order to help them reach the next level.

“He has really guided me in improving my overall game, both physically and mentally,” Witkop said. ”His knowledge and experience gives our team a huge advantage.”

Witkop says that the team has great chemistry and being a part of the team has benefited him greatly as an individual.

“Through it all I’ve learned to keep fighting,” Witkop said. “It’s fun, but it’s also a bonus to be a part of a team where everyone cares for each other.”

Jeremiah Witkop, Trey Conant, Tyson Forbes, Brandon Rasmussen, Peyton Lemon, and Ryan Sullivan will be competing at state tennis on Oct. 15.