regional team
(Note: Regionals for high school girls tennis was scheduled for this week. With six of its top seven players returning from last year’s regional-winning team, Plymouth would have been favored to repeat, with aspirations of moving even further along the state tournament this year. Head coach Brad Haeck recently penned a letter to his team and has agreed to share it with the Pilot News.)
This has taken me a while to write. For a few days after (the season was officially cancelled), I think I was just in a state of denial, which has in turn lasted several weeks. I just hurt for our kids. I hurt for our parents. I hurt for our school. I hurt for our community. The whole situation just hurts. Period.
In the days prior, I knew the dominoes were falling. I just didn’t imagine it would actually happen. On April 2, the spring sports season was cancelled and I was devastated. I truly was. I was devastated for myself. But even more so, I was devastated for our kids. I was so excited for this spring season. Ever since a 4-1 semi-state loss to Top 5 Munster last season, I’ve been excited for this season. Going into my 15th year as the head coach of the PHS girls tennis team, I was as excited as I’ve ever been going into a season.
After coming off an NLC co-championship, along with sectional and regional championships, our expectations were very high. We only graduated two of our top 13 players from last year’s 17-4 team. And only one of our top seven. We returned all three singles players, all of which received all-conference recognition last season (senior Kyla Heckaman 18-8 at 1S, junior Miranda German 20-5 at 2S and NLC champ, sophomore Aubrey Vervynckt 25-1 at 3S and NLC champ). Half of our NLC runner-up and honorable mention NLC 1D team returned (senior Audie Plothow 22-4 at 1D) and our NLC runner-up 2D team returned as well (seniors Sydni Weir and Olive Stanton 14-4 at 2D together).
After having a relatively inexperienced team each of the last two years, we were ready to start the season with a plethora of talent and experience. We even had several seniors ready and capable of stepping into that last varsity playing position - Alaina Clady, Alexa Orozco, Kenzie Snyder, Fernanda Cortes, Erin Renneker, and Jocelyn Draper. 
We have 10 seniors. That’s unheard of in tennis. This is the best senior class I’ve seen at PHS in 15 years. Definitely in quantity, but perhaps in quality as well. Not only that, they are a special group of individuals and personalities. This group has been fun to coach and they have made practices the last few years very enjoyable. Their development as tennis players and as human beings has been fun to watch. They are a hard-nosed, selfless group. They were excited to see the “fruits of their labor” pay off with a great senior experience. We don’t get to see that and none of them get to experience that.
I hate all of this. I hate it for our whole team, but I especially hate it for these seniors.
Full story in the Pilot News

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