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Jag Journal

The Student News Site of Johnson High School

Jag Journal

Jag Journal

Tennis Tryouts of ’24

Incoming freshmen, veterans of the sport attend tryouts
Athena Metzger
Remy Zain (8) swinging for the ball at tennis tryouts Thursday May 9.

Tennis tryouts were held for next school year’s freshmen and current members of the team on Thursday, May 9 with the biggest turnout so far of 38 names on the roster, including 18 incoming freshmen. Results will be known on the evening of May 13, after a few more tryouts that day.


“I’m hoping we find some new people who add new elements to our team,” sophomore Maia Threatt said. “But also fit into the culture of the team. I’m excited to see what new talent we have this year.”


Threatt, varsity team member, has been playing since third grade. She is looking forward to working with new people and helping to build their skills and also assisted with the tryouts Thursday.


“I know my coach has a grading scale for everything,” Threatt said. “So I’ll just be giving some of my feedback for stuff.”


The grading scale of Coach Aaron Johnson, tennis coach and math teacher, is a formulaic, math-based system measuring the skill and technique of participants, calculating the success rate and form of the hits used in tennis.


“We let them get five balls and we graded them on the quality of technique on a scale of zero to two, and we graded them on whether those balls went in,” Johnson said. “I made it up. I’m a math guy, and I thought, hey, five balls, that’s a lot of pressure on you, and when you’re out in a match, it’s a lot of pressure, so it puts them in the same pressure system that they’d be in a match.”


The tried-and-true system was met with general enjoyment from the students trying out. One incoming freshman, Remy Zain, particularly liked the informality and extra time for practice.


“It was actually kind of fun, and less professional than I thought it would be,” Zain said. “I like how we got to go all the way to the back and then come back. It was nice having all that time to warm up.”


Zain has myopia, or nearsightedness, that once limited her ability to play. But with her specialized goggles, she feels that her skill set has become better than ever and plans to continue growing it.


“I’ve been playing for about three years, so I was in the very beginning of sixth grade when I started,” Zain said. “I’ve gotten really good. But at some point I hit a hump because I wasn’t wearing these [glasses], and I started to develop myopia, so I had to start wearing these or else I’d be framing all the balls. So, I’d say it’s going smoothly now. I used to get all of them out, but I’d say now I’m more confident in my shots.”


The results of the tennis tryouts will be posted on the evening of next Monday. Because of budget cuts, one of the tennis classes was removed from next year’s roster, so there won’t be room for everyone who tried out.


“I don’t have space for everybody, unfortunately,” Johnson said. “I wish we had more space, and I would love to have another tennis class.”


Johnson and the varsity members look forward to what next year’s team brings and will keep working towards fine-tuning skills.


“There might be some kids that I put in the upgrade program,” Johnson said. “Over the summer, they’ll have a to-do list of things to work on. Then they’ll come back and see me at the beginning of the school year, and we’ll see if we can put them on the team. So we’re going to reward their efforts.”

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About the Contributor
Athena Metzger
Athena Metzger, Staff Writer
Athena Metzger is a freshman working to make a career out of journalism. Some of her interests include reading and writing both articles and fiction, and she's been involved in the newspaper program for three years now. Journalism is one of her passions, and she believes that everyone's story deserves to be told.
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