Ames Tennis team to win everything

Two years ago on this day, I saw my first glimpse of the Ames High boys’ tennis team. The blazing inferno of passion behind each of their eyes belied their immeasurable calmness and supreme intellect. Each one was a god of his own specialty, be it forehand, backhand, net play, or service. The gaping holes in the steel cage surrounding the tennis courts left by players’ serves had been forever burned into my retina, and although the majority were of Asian descent, my Mexican-Canadian spirit longed to be with them and to share in their glory. I felt chills and wished for nothing more than to be with them, but my GPA at the time simply wasn’t high enough for the disproportionately Asian team. This year, after I finally bumped my GPA to an acceptable level, I attempted to join their hallowed ranks. Six boys have already claimed the top spots and the next six in the could easily make varsity squads at any second-rate school. But Ames High is no second-rate school, and I knew I would have to put my absolute all into this. I knew that I had only one chance to be somebody, one chance to snatch glorious immortality from the snapping jaws of crushing defeat. The tryouts were fierce, the cut brutal. I barely managed to make the final cut, with only every single kid who tried out making the team. My confidence soared after I fended off my first challenge match and secured my number 16 spot. The people I have yet to beat, however, are no chumps. The competition is even fiercer now that Calvin has lost 150 pounds. But, I’ve already started on my super awesome training montage, so I should be playing Varsity by the end of the season. After all, even Rocky had to do some serious training before beating Apollo Creed in order to claim the boxing heavy weight championship. Of course, Rocky couldn’t win alone. While the team is notorious for having different coaches every year (two years ago a souped-up hall monitor coached the team), second-year coach Miriam Skrade returns this season with her eyes set on a state championship. With a team led by senior Nirvan Tyagi, it’s easy to see why. Described as “the mental fortress of the team,” Tyagi inspires his fellow teammates to success. When not imparting his vast bank of tennis knowledge on undeserving pupils, he also wins every academic competition ever. Junior captain Victor Wang (the humble one) unnerves his opponents with his irrepressible calmness before striking them down with his pimp-slappingly good backhand fit for a pimp. The team is unbelievably fortunate to have so many of the brightest kids in the school with such profound knowledge of the game to be able to pick and choose the true leaders. And yet, neither Tyagi nor Wang is the best player on the team. Sophomore Alex Qin, possessing both stunning looks and brutish strength, holds that honor. Capable of hitting winning shots with his eyes closed, his back to the net, and his hands doing pre-calculus homework, this kid, younger brother to state champion Evelyn Qin, is even better than a jacked Calvin, a tall Victor, and an Asian Bryan all put together. And, he has three seasons still ahead. While this year’s basketball and soccer teams have both had “rebuilding” years, Ames tennis has never had such a strong prospect for the state championship. The team firmly believes nothing less than six state qualifiers is acceptable, and one can easily see why.