Jordan High School Boys Tennis Ready to Take on New SeasonApr 07, 2016 04:24PM ● By Kelly Cannon
By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]
Sandy - The boys tennis team at Jordan High School is prepped to start a new competitive season. Both the varsity and junior varsity team are ready to make it to the state tournament.
Matt Bell has been the boys tennis coach at Jordan High School for the past 10 years. He himself played tennis for Jordan High, and when he became a teacher, he was asked to coach the team.
“We’re considered a mid-level team. We compete well and we make it to the state tournament,” Bell said. “We’ve never really had a bad year, but we haven’t had any deep runs in the state tournament.”
According to Bell, last season was a strong season for Jordan High. The team has qualified in each position for the state tournament for the past three years.
“The boys play outside of the team, which helps,” Bell said.
The top two players on the team are sophomore Nicholas Colt and junior Colin Green. Bell said both players have been in the same position for their entire tennis career, and Bell anticipates a lot from the singles games because of them.
“There are a lot of new players on the doubles, so we may have some growing pains,” Bell said.
The team consists of around 20 players, though 14 are really needed to complete a team with seven on varsity and seven on junior varsity. Each team breaks down to three players who play singles and two doubles teams.
When it comes to deciding who plays singles and who plays doubles, it’s a relatively easy process.
“You put them on the court and see who wins,” Bell said.
While he can switch things around in between matches, players assigned to play doubles or singles tend to only play that during a match.
“Sometimes playing singles suits them better as players,” Bell said. “Doubles needs chemistry, so sometimes they’re better on their own.”
The Jordan High team is set for a competitive season. Recently, the sports regions were rearranged with some teams moving up in divisions and some moving down. Jordan High stayed at 5A with Brighton High becoming its new rival after Alta High moved down to Class 4A. Bell said as far as tennis goes, it’s a good rivalry but couldn’t speak for other sports.
“Brighton won state last year and has been first or second for the last 10 years,” Bell said. “Bingham High should be good and Cottonwood High should be as well.”
The team has been training and conditioning to help improve its game. Unlike other sports, tennis doesn’t require a lot of running conditioning. Rather, the players essentially continually play the game, focusing on cutting back and forth on the court to increase reaction time and work on deceleration of the racket after hitting the ball.
“The kids seem to enjoy being deceived into thinking we don’t do a lot of conditioning,” Bell said.
He and the team are looking forward to the upcoming season.
“We want to see how we measure up against the state champs,” Bell said. “It’s always fun to see where they end up.”