Boys Varsity Tennis Serving Up The Competition


Jarrett Kenebrew-Campbell, Guest Writer

The Hillcrest Boys Varsity Tennis team has been on a roll this season as they now hold a 1.0 (4-4) W/L ratio.  Their four recent wins have been against Richards High School, Shepard High School, Thornwood High School, and Bremen High School for a conference match.  Seniors Akinwande Masha-Yarrow, Kabren Williams, Abdul Muhammad, John Matthews, James Turner, and I, and junior Dante Jones have contributed to the team’s success, and they hope to keep the spark of fire alive in their matches through the rest of their season. 

Dante Jones is the team’s first Singles player.  Powering through the injury in his right bicep, he has been on his game, helping the team pull forward with the overall win at the end of the day.  Dante first started playing the game of tennis when he was a freshman here at Hillcrest and has been playing since then. His reason for playing tennis was that he had an older brother that played tennis, along with two older sisters who are also in high school when they started, and it inspired him to begin playing himself.

Tennis is not the only sport that Dante has been a part of at Hillcrest, such as golf and bowling. Comparing those two sports to tennis, “Tennis and golf are pretty much the same,” he said, “because you have to get a swing with it. And, bowling and tennis are pretty much the same, because you have to use the same wrist motion.” I asked him about his thoughts about the chances that the team has to make it to State, and he replied, honestly to add, “Not that good. I’m not sure if we’re gonna make it to State, but we can heck give it a good try.”

Akinwande Masha-Yarrow and Kabren Williams are what some may call “the dynamic duo,” hence the fact that they are the team’s first Doubles. Both of the boys are currently seniors at Hillcrest. Masha-Yarrow started playing tennis in his freshman year, due to the fact that the team’s head coach, Christopher Hennessy needed more players, and thought that Masha-Yarrow would help out. Masha-Yarrow and Williams are very proud of the team’s success and positive outlook, just like their thoughts about the team going down to State. “It’s up to us and it depends on what we wanna show up as,” Masha-Yarrow stated. He then begged the question, “Do you wanna show up as the team that you know you could be, or as a team that just doesn’t want it?” As much as their playing styles are different, their thoughts are very similar. “Get more practice time in, go in and work on some serving,” said Williams. “After practice, you work hard, and be the better team.”

Though I play on Exhibition, I give it my all when it comes to this sport, especially since this is my first time playing tennis as a sport.  The reason I started playing tennis was because I always had an interest in the sport after watching two of my cousins play for years on end. I even told myself, being the person I am, “I am going to continue their legacy!”  Tennis, honestly, is very similar to baseball; the main difference is that you are not trying to kill the ball with all your strength, which was a habit that was slightly hard to break. The other difference is that you’re always in the action, always moving. Another thing that made me want to start playing tennis for my senior year was the fact that playing baseball the last few years has not been so successful, and I thought it was time that I tried something new.  I definitely recommend more students give tennis a try.

Now about our chances of going to State, I would say that we have a high chance of going down to the State competition. If we can keep playing the way we have with this four game winning streak with as little comebacks as possible, then I say that we will come in the top five at least. I have faith in my teammates; if one of us falls, then the rest of us pick them back up.