The CJ men's tennis players, this week's feature team, will attempt to make history yet again this season armed with seven returning team members back to defend the GCL North championship and send another representative to the state tournament again in 2011.
The Eagles (5-1 overall, 4-0 GCL) have positioned themselves early to repeat as GCL champions—a feat the team has never accomplished—by recording victories against Carroll, Fenwick, Badin and McNicholas to start the year. The team looks to continue its league dominance in the feature game of the week Thursday at 4 p.m. against rival Alter.
“Last year we won the GCL and were one of the top teams in the area, but we lost to Wyoming High School in the early rounds of the state tournament,” said John Buerschen. As a senior, his goal is to lead the team to the state final four, a journey which begins Wednesday, April 13 with a match against Oakwood.
“I know I have to set an example for the underclassmen and show them what it means to represent CJ,” he added. Last spring Buerschen, along with current junior and 2010 Athlete of the Year Andrew Bole, combined to represent the school as members of the All-GCL North First Team. Bole, as first reported by Kyle Foley in the March issue of the Ludlow Street Journal, earned those honors, in part, by being the first Eagles men’s tennis player to appear at state in 20 years.
Fellow first team honorees included the doubles duo of Joseph Hangana and Matt Henne, now seniors, while current senior Giles Hinders earned a spot on the second team for his doubles play. Jim Brooks was named the coach of the year, an honor he last earned in 2005.
ON BEING THE FEATURE TEAM
Joseph Hangana has anticipated this week since August. As a senior athlete and member of the Spirit Committee, the group in charge of spotlighting each team with locker signs and lunch-time appreciations, he is ready for his team’s recognition.
“I’ve been waiting for this all year!” he said with a smile. “Everyone has gotten their turn and now it’s ours.”
After spending the last four years serving it up with the Eagles tennis team, Hangana knows that being the feature team in his last season is just one of the many things he can enjoy reminiscing about after high school. “In a way I’m looking forward to the end, so that I can look back and reflect on my time having fun playing tennis.”