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Sports Spotlight: Boys Tennis

This issue’s Sports Spotlight features Boys Tennis seniors Michael Hamm and Landon Kruer. Coach Scott Gurgol nominated Michael because he has “played most of his career at Number 1 singles and faced the toughest competition. He’s been clutch coming through with big wins to secure 3-2 match victories (Memorial, Columbus East, Borden). His presence at the top of the lineup allows me to be creative with the lineup behind him.”

Of Landon, Coach Gurgol said: “He’s been our most consistent point scorer at Number 1 doubles his junior and senior season. He’s had four different partners, and he gets the job done. He’s also been flexible and played singles in some key spots to help the team earn victories.”

Michael Hamm, senior, fourth season/seven years overall, No. 1 singles, House of Justice

Question: What are you looking forward to in your senior season?
Answer: I am looking forward to having a great season with the team and winning this year’s sectionals. Also just getting to know the underclassmen and showing them how to act when they become seniors and how they can be a leader.

Q: How did you get started playing tennis?
A: I got started to play tennis [because of] my dad. My dad introduced it to me when I was very young, and we always watched the Grand Slams when they were on. Then I tried to play it, and I loved it.

Q: What do you enjoy about tennis?
A: The thing I most enjoy about tennis is just you’re on your own, well in singles that is. If you mess up, it’s not your team that messes up, it’s you. You make your own shots, and you have all the pressure on yourself.

Q: What do you like about playing No. 1 singles?
A: The thing I like the most playing one singles is that it is very challenging to play against people who are better than you and you’re just on the court by yourself. You have to keep composure is the most challenging thing when you’re on the court.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
A: My favorite part about being a Pioneer is how close we are to each other. Covid has made it very hard this year to be with my friends, but we still manage ways to hang out while being cautious.

Q: How are you making the most of school this year?
A: I’m doing all that I can to hang out with my friends and getting used to have to wear masks in the classroom.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
A: My favorite subject in school is Anatomy because I like learning about the human body, and I love Mr. Purichia.

Landon Kruer, senior, fourth season/fifth year overall, No. 1 doubles, House of Spirit Senior Executive Delegate, Honor Council, Baseball

Question: What are you looking forward to in your senior season?
Answer: I am looking forward to winning sectionals with my current partner, (junior) Jake Rodski.

Q: How did you get started playing tennis?
A: I started tennis in the eighth grade after some of my friends asked me to play.

Q: What do you enjoy about tennis?
A: I enjoy the competitiveness of tennis and the pressure that comes with each point. It makes you concentrate and be the best you can be in tough situations because one point can win or lose you the match.

Q: What has it been like to adjust to different partners and how has it helped you grow as a player?
A: I have had to adjust to every partner because every one of them has a different way of playing and a different level of talent. It has helped me as a player because my game has gone from one way of play to many, so I can be more versatile and use more skills on the court.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
A: My favorite part of being a Pioneer is that our school has a family feel to it and that you know everyone, student and teacher alike.

Q: How are you making the most of school this year?
A: I am trying to stay positive and hope for better times in the future in order to make the most of wearing masks and social distancing.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
A: My favorite school subject is AP Government because I enjoy learning about how our country and government were formed and how it has changed and stayed the same over time.

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