Tallmen era over; Brockway to the rescue

The ephemeral Tallman days of the Ames High Boys tennis team have come to an end, ushering in a new era of leadership. James Brockway will be the new Boys tennis coach for the spring of 2009. Many students are most familiar with Brockway as the omnipresent hall monitor. “I see him outside in the morning and roaming the halls almost every day,” junior Deepak Premkumar said. “I haven’t really talked to him so I don’t know him at all. I just know that somehow he can be in every hallway at the same time.” However, much like those transforming automatons, he is much more than meets the eye. Brockway has a rich history of playing and coaching both volleyball and tennis. He was one of the first players at his former high school, Ottawa Kansas High School, to have lettered in tennis all 4 years of his high school career. He also coached tennis at Clear Lake High School for 6 years before he moved to Ames, where he coached volleyball from 2000-2003. No longer coaching volleyball, Brockway has now taken the responsibility of coaching tennis. “I took this position because I thought it was too bad that the previous coach had left,” Brockway said. “I know that Ames has a talented group of kids and I wanted to lead them to success this season.” The Boys tennis team has had an inconsistent string of coaches in recent years. The coach of last year’s team was Derick Tallman, and the year before that was Cary Justmann. JT Voegele has been the assistant coach in the past, but will not be able to coach this year, leaving Brockway to coach the team alone this season. Unlike his predecessor, Brockway has had experience coaching tennis prior to coaching at Ames. Despite the team’s overall success last year, Tallman continues to face criticism from many players. “Tallman was awful,” said former Ames High student Tony Chung. “He seemed to have no idea what to do as the coach. He held a practice in the cafeteria and we had to use folded-up lunch tables as nets and use foam balls. He also made us practice in the rain, which ruined all the balls. Having James as the new coach will be a huge improvement, but it’s too bad that JT-money won’t be there.” As tennis season approaches, many students wait with anticipation to try to make the 24-player cut and play for Brockway. “I have seen Brockway around the school a lot, but I don’t really know him at all," sophomore Thomas McKiernan said. "I am excited to play for him and get to know him better, assuming I actually do out for tennis and make the cut."