CHS interviewed boys tennis head coach Steve Lubbers.
Q: How do you feel that the tennis program developed this year?
A: I feel that we made great progress in developing a much stronger and deeper program.
Q: What do you think about the program progressing in the future?
A: I’m really excited about a lot of underclassmen working hard on their game during the offseason.
Q: What was your highpoint as a coach this season?
A: Defeating Holland Christian.
Q: Do you believe there is anything you can improve upon as a coach going into the next season?
A: Trying to work on getting players more mentally prepared for matches.
Q: What are some weaknesses and strengths you have as a coach?
A: Need to stay focused on conditioning – weakness. Make it fun for kids to play tennis – strength.
Q: What do you believe are the best strengths of your players this season?
A: Always represented themselves, their school and their families well.
Q: How can you better prepare your team for upcoming seasons?
A: Make sure they all come prepared and have worked on their game during the offseason.
CHS also sat down with boys tennis player Jarrett Folkert.
Q: What do you think your best match was?
A: I think my best match was probably my semifinals and state. That was kind of an important part because I have never gone to state individually. And I needed to get past that match to get to the finals which would have qualified me for state. It was a very emotional match and I’m glad I got through it.
Q: Awesome, and who was the most challenging school to play against?
A: I think that there are a lot of challenging schools out there, but one of the most challenging was Byron Center. They have a lot of good players, very good players, on their team.
How has Hamilton changed you as a player?
A: I think it has got me to be more of a team player and not just be out there just for myself. Also caring for other people even though I already did.
What was one of your best moments, either as a team or by yourself?
A: I think when we beat Holland Christian, because it was a little important and I think that was nice, that it was the first time we ever beat them. It was cool.
How did Hamilton do this year compared to other years in tennis?
A: I think we did really well, I don’t know if this year was our best year but we also had a lot of starters and we also had a lot of people that haven’t played tennis for a while, or not a lot at all, and I think we did very well. Sure, we didn’t go to state as a team or anything, that doesn’t negate the fact that I thought our players did very well.
How has your coach pushed you as a player?
A: My coach pushed me to not to get too angry or anything. He was a very well mental coach, because I had a lot of skills down but he really helped me just getting through matches and working through the player’s weakness, and I appreciate that a lot.
How has a certain attitude helped or hurt your performance during a game?
A: I think because I’m very intense while playing, and if I’m not winning, It’s not good. But if I’m winning it’s good because I can’t be in the middle. It’s a problem but it also helps a lot.”
What do you think your best play was and why?
A: When I’m at the base line and someone has an obvious winner against me sometimes there are shots that I perform that even I don’t believe. Like I think it’s luck but I try to do it, like down the line shots and very inaccurate but I can still fit them in and my family sees it and they don’t believe it, either. I just think they’re really cool to do.
Q: What would your greatest strengths and weaknesses be in tennis?
A: I think my greatest strength would be I’m aggressive but I can also have defense. I think my weakness with my advantage would be that I think i’m too aggressive sometimes, even though I can build a point, sometimes I go too quickly, and I just need to slow down.
Q: Are you planning on playing tennis for in college or even professionally?
A: Haha, that’s funny. Well, granted that I’m going to Grand Valley (State University), probably not.
Q: If you ever had an opportunity to coach Hamilton tennis in the future, would you?
A: I think if I had time, definitely.