The ENC men’s tennis team has been steadily improving the past few years and is excited that the spring season has finally begun.
The team is especially excited for the opportunity to train with professional tennis player Roger Federer, who will be helping out Coach Popa this spring.
Students have mixed feelings about ENC’s new celebrity tennis aide.
Junior Juju Atwater, who plays on the women’s tennis team, says, “I think it’s great that they have someone as awesome as Federer helping out, but I do wish they could have brought in Andy Roddick instead.”
Others, though, are just happy to have the man on television in their midst.
“I love him … I love him. I love him with all my heart,” exclaims senior Michael Coronella. “[But] I want to know if he’s a talented enough tennis player,” he continues, “Has he won the World Series yet? You know, like what’s his batting average? Is he going to give the team seminars and things?”
Some of ENC’s female tennis players envy the new men’s coach.
“I’m a mixed bundle of well wishes and jealousy,” admits Sharon Lemire, “I’m happy for them, but be serious, who wouldn’t want that?”
Junior Katie Smith, who claims to be on the women’s tennis team, carries this same pattern of jealousy to the extreme.
“When news spread that Roger Federer would be assisting the men’s team, I knew I had to stop this,” Smith says.
She details how, in an effort to deter the men’s team from dominating the women’s, she plans to break and destroy their rackets before their matches.
“It’s only fair to sabotage the men’s team,” she justifies. “I have strong feelings toward them, but keeping them in their place is best in the long run if we are to continue training together.”
Smith will certainly need that competitive spirit, because the men’s team is already seeing great improvement under the guidance of Federer. The team earned its first home win, 7-2, over Endicott on Wednesday, March 27.
Sophomore tennis player Tyler Perron describes the benefits of having Federer around.
“This summer was a huge turning point for me. I came in contact with the ENC men’s tennis secret weapon, ‘The Rog,’ and I knew that my dreams of learning Swedish and meeting the Rolex spokesmen had come true. Little did I know [that] he would help me become the tennis player I am today,” said Perron.
He continued, “Roger is actually a pretty chill guy. We kick it back, play some video games, and enjoy the delicious Caf food as we fuel ourselves for some superb tennis. You could say he is more of a friend than a coach.”
Although the men’s team is certainly progressing with this guidance, not everyone enjoys the help.
“I don’t like him,” reveals senior captain Austin Steelman. “Because whenever we think we’re getting good, he beats us while using his left hand.”
Sophomore Emma Thies, an expert tennis spectator, is shocked at how many students are not thrilled by this athlete’s willing assistance.
“If there is someone who is that professional at a sport, I don’t know why you wouldn’t be more than happy to have him coaching you,” said Thies.
Despite the varying opinions on Federer helping out, two things are for certain: We can expect the men’s team to greatly improve, and the women’s team to stop at nothing to deteriorate this hard work.
But in the words of senior Wesley Paul, “I have no idea who [Federer] is, so I’m sure it’s going to be OK.”