The Clover High School boys’ tennis team remains unbeaten in Region 3-AAAA, much to the delight of head coach Phil Wingard.
“We’re having a good year,” Wingard said. “We’ve got six seniors that are using their leadership qualities. A lot of them have been on the team since seventh grade.”
The seniors and their supporting cast “are on the same page,” said Wingard. “They want to defend their region championship more than they wanted to win it the first time.”
Wingard said he has a formula for maintaining the team’s status in the region.
“We just continue to focus on the fundamentals of the game, how we play the game, the conditioning,” he said. “Were doing everything we’ve been doing for nine years. We have to be mentally tough.”
No. 1 singles player Justin White said that toughness comes from “people that can compete, day in and day out,” he said. “Everybody’s always trying as hard as they can.
“The key to success is always 100 percent effort and to bring our ‘A’ game every time out.”
“We want to hit the ball back one more time than our opponent,” he said.
Senior Garrett Smith, the Blue Eagles’ No. 5 singles player, has seen the program grow since his first year on the team.
“When I was a freshman, we were a little rough because we were all freshmen,” Smith said. “We continued to move up and have reached the top of our region this year. We’re pretty proud of it.”
Wingard said what it will take to maintain the level of play that’s brought the Blue Eagles this far is that “we’ve got to stay healthy.”
“We’ve got to continue to work hard,” he said.
He said there are other good teams in the region.
“Nation Ford is a good team,” he said. “Northwestern is much improved. York’s rebuilding this year; I think York’s future is bright.”