It was really going to be a youth motion for the Blue Raiders this season.
A yr in the past, whereas seven seniors had been serving to the Hopedale boys tennis workforce to a 3rd straight Division 1 Central title, assistant coach Alex Laumeister was constructing relationships with the youthful guys on the workforce.
He had this system’s future in his sight.
In the meantime, head coach Ryan Murly started quietly placing the concept in Laumeister’s head that he will be the subsequent man in line to run the workforce. So, Murly ultimately stepped apart after two years and Laumeister was set to take over the reins of this system this season.
At the very least till the coronavirus pandemic hit.
With so many graduating seniors and just one junior signed up for the 2020 squad, this yr’s Blue Raiders’ workforce might not have had the expectations of those who preceded it, however a brand new wave of management was set to start its accent to the highest and in the end by no means acquired that likelihood, together with Laumeister.
“It was tough as a result of we graduated seven seniors and 6 of them had been starters,” stated Laumeister just lately in a cellphone interview. “I had talked about that with Coach Murly final yr. He was sort of placing the bug in my ear like ‘Hey, this workforce is perhaps yours subsequent yr, so take into accout we’re shedding a ton of seniors.’ So, I sort of took that as ‘OK, I ought to begin working with the youthful guys’ as a result of I knew come this season they’d be the blokes I needed to depend on.
“So, expectations had been nonetheless there as a result of they’ve been across the profitable tradition and stuff, however on the finish of the day they’re all nonetheless freshmen and sophomores so you possibly can solely count on a lot.”
Final yr, Hopedale misplaced the Division three state title to Weston for the third straight yr, ending with a 17-Four document. So, heading into this season, Laumeister was going to make use of the previous success as motivation, but additionally needed the younger guys to proceed constructing this budding dynasty in their very own picture.
“They’ve seen what it appears to be like like and what it takes, however till you do it your self you actually don’t have that information,” Laumeister stated. “They know what it’s wish to win; they only need to develop the expertise to get to that time. I do know they’re going to, it’s only a matter of how lengthy it takes and sadly that likelihood by no means occurred this season.”
It was really going to be a youth motion for the Blue Raiders this season. They’d roughly 10 youngsters join the season. Two guys that Laumeister was going to depend on quite a bit within the 2020 marketing campaign had been freshmen now turning sophomores in Luke Tahmoush and Cam Whiting. Each guys had been keen to start out growing as leaders off the court docket and higher gamers on it.
“We had a tremendous season final yr and it was unhappy to lose all these seniors,” Whiting stated. “Now that we’re a a lot youthful workforce, we’ve a while to rebuild and create a long-lasting bond – like these guys had – to hold us for the subsequent few years.”
“With the core group that held this workforce collectively the previous few years, a complete lineup reset was certain to occur,” Tahmoush stated. “After coaching all winter, having to attend one other yr to step into the lineup wasn’t one thing I used to be ready for.”
Laumeister and his gamers admitted that in workforce conferences previous to the season being canceled, and even after it was, that expectations weren’t actually one thing that was mentioned. As a substitute, this yr was imagined to be considered one of discovery.
“Truthfully, with a brand new head coach and a lineup reset, in preseason conferences we simply hoped to have some enjoyable and enhance day-after-day,” Tahmoush stated.
The expertise that Laumeister was capable of have final yr with these youthful gamers, the hope was that relationship would pay dividends this season.
“Final yr I began placing it of their ears that this season they received’t be enjoying, however subsequent season (2020) they’d be the blokes,” Laumeister stated. “I needed to start out getting them set as much as have that mentality that they’re not starters however for the subsequent two, three, 4 years, their core of associates goes to be the entire workforce. A whole lot of youthful guys see the junior and seniors play however they’re simply alongside for the experience. However they wanted to comprehend that their time was coming shortly.”
The youthful guys know that this season was a missed alternative, nevertheless it doesn’t imply it has to have an effect on this system long run.
“This was going to be an excellent rising yr for the workforce,” Tahmoush stated. “Shifting ahead, I’m able to work more durable than I ever have on a sport. Tennis has emerged as my essential sport and I’d wish to take it to a different degree.”
“I used to be actually wanting ahead to having Coach Laumeister as our head coach and seeing what he may do with such a younger however gifted workforce,” Whiting stated.