‘Serving’ up new opportunities; Guys, girls tennis kickstarts season

Greer Strine, Sports Editor


     Flashback to last year. North Harford’s tennis team huddled around Coach Edmonds’ phone to hear the announcement from Governor Larry Hogan. The athletes found out we would have a two-week ‘Coronacation’. Little did they know, the whole season would be canceled, and they would not return to school for the remainder of the year. 

     The tennis players never had a match last season since everything was cut short. This year, sports are looking different, but the team is looking for some wins. 

     Phillips explains “masks make playing a little harder because it doesn’t take much to get winded, you can’t always get as much oxygen as you need when exercising.” HCPS stated in their COVID-19 acknowledgment form, “I will always wear a mask or fabric face covering, practice handwashing, and maintain social distancing to the extent possible when participating in any HCPS Activity, as per Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and Maryland Department of Health (MDH) guidelines.”

     Not only must students know about the basic COVID advisories in place, but students and parents must agree that they are “aware that by participating in any HCPS Activity that there is a risk of being exposed to COVID-19, and that such exposure can occur either directly or indirectly whether or not a mask or fabric face covering is worn and notwithstanding reasonable efforts by HCPS to mitigate exposure based on current State and Local public health guidelines.”

     At the beginning of each practice, students must answer a series of three basic questions regarding COVID, said HCPS. These questions are, do you have any COVID-19 symptoms, in the last 14 days have you been exposed to someone that has tested positive for COVID-19, and have you been following Maryland travel restrictions? Each question is designed to keep athletes safe and healthy, as well as keeping a close eye on the potential spread of the virus, HCPS added.

     According to Phillips, “the only difference for me from this season and past seasons is the conditioning and the fact I am more in shape than the past years making it easier to do the workouts.” 

     The tennis schedule for HCPS states that each team will play each school in the county three separate times. If a match at some point gets rained out, the match will not be made up at the end of the season and as of mid-March, there are no county, regional, or state tournaments that will occur. 

          Currently, their practice has been a lot of drills, conditioning, and fundamentals. Junior Luke Phillips stated. He adds, usually, the season starts out with a lot of basics to try and gauge where everyone’s level of skill is, but also to help develop good habits along the way.