YORK -- Showing marked improvement in the early stages of regular-season play, the emerging York Comprehensive High School boys' tennis team has already matched last year's win total.
The Cougars, 1 and 15 in the 2008 season, "served" notice that things will be different this year by defeating Gaffney 4-3 last week.
Chris Suggs won his match playing No. 1 singles and Jensen Fisk prevailed in No. 2 singles.
Suggs and Fisk combined to win the No. 1 doubles match against the Indians, while Patrick Burnett and Adam Thomas were victorious in No. 2 doubles play.
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Though first-year Cougar coach Ben Clark was pleased with the outcome, he challenges the players to continue to elevate their game for the grinding schedule that remains.
"The win over Gaffney was a confidence-builder but we still have a long way to go," Clark said. "The team is showing promise. We need to change the culture and get used to winning."
Suggs, a four-year No. 1 singles player for the Cougars, feels good about the early-season win over a region foe.
"We have a lot of new guys who are learning the game," he said. "We need first-year players to step up at No. 2 doubles and fill some of the top positions in singles play."
Though Suggs continues to make the transition from football, he feels his game is coming around.
"I'm not quite where I need to be but I'll get there," he said. "I have confidence hitting my forehand.
"I am working to improve my backhand."
Added Suggs: "We are a better team than last year. We have talented first year players."
Fisk, a second-year varsity player, started at No. 5 singles and worked his way up to No. 2 last year.
"I had never played tennis until last year," he said. "It's exciting. I love the sport."
Fisk has confidence in his serve, a problem area for many players at the high school level.
"I am working to improve my backhand," he said. "Every player on the team needs to give it his all."
Burnett, a first-year player making an impact in No. 2 doubles, is catching on to the sport.
Said the senior participant, "It was hard at first but once I learned the form and technique, it was easier for me. The key to success for the team is to play consistent tennis and not get caught up in the mental approach too much."
Clark is depending on newcomers to contribute to the success of the team.
"We will continue to bring them along," he said.
The Cougars host Nation Ford Thursday at 5 p.m. and travel to Clover Tuesday for a 5 p.m. match.