Spotlight on Varsity Tennis – Comrades on the Court


Photo Credit: Mr. Daniel Burke

The Varsity Boys Tennis team closed out their season with a 7-4 record within the TCIS.  While the team is small with only ten members, they placed 3rd in the TCIS Tournament with several strong victories and achievements.  With Grahame Brown (‘23) and Flynn Somers (‘20) earning TCIS All-Tournament Team honors and Nick Hubbard (‘20) advancing to the finals of the event, the team is sure to see success once more in 2020.  

In six out of their seven wins during the main season this spring, the team won matches with ease, either with a score of 9-0 or 8-1.  Captain Flynn Somers shared that the team’s “best match of the season was against Norfolk Collegiate when we won 6-3.” Even though this match was not the most successful event of the season with the best score, Flynn said, “Everyone was able to support the players still playing. I believe this support and energy got us the win.”

This winning environment is cultivated by the team’s excellent coaches.  While Head Coach John Hill is tough on the athletes, he pushes them to be stronger and better on the court.  Elaborating more on his coaches, Flynn said, “Coach Hill grew up playing tennis and played at Wake Forest and even became a top 50 player in the world at one point. He is a very wise tennis coach and is able to give crucial advice to us during matches. Assistant Coach Armistead played for Cape Henry and played top six when the team won States. He then played for University of Virginia-Wise for four years.”  Clearly, our Dolphin athletes have fantastic role models to look up to and learn from day by day as they master their sport.

Commenting on the dynamic of the team this year, Flynn said, “I was happy to see a lot of younger guys try out along with most of the old team from last year as we only had one senior last year. A lot of players on the team this year are close in level which is great because it gives us the advantage over teams that aren’t as deep as us. This factor also stimulates competitiveness in practices. We have a fight-for-every-edge mentality and overall a tight-knit group of guys.”  Only one senior is graduating from the team this year, Jared Gordon (‘19), so the group’s existing camaraderie will certainly add to the team’s impressive abilities and the Dolphins will be fierce opponents to face.

Additionally, the boys’ fellowship and strength as a group are most likely developed through their challenging practices in addition to most of them having played the sport together for several years at CHC.  As Flynn said, “The best way to practice anything is by playing it,” so the team’s skills grew with every match. Every day during practice, the Dolphins played singles and doubles to show they wanted to be on the lineup for their next game.  While the team put in a lot of hard work, it did not come without some fun, too. “At the end of practice,” Flynn shares, “Assistant Coach Chris Armistead runs some fitness drills and we also play Ultimate Frisbee with a tennis ball.” After all, their love of the sport is fueled by the enjoyment they find in playing it.  Otherwise, the team would not be as consistently successful as they are. After all of the strong effort they put in during practice, a tradition the boys always do at each game is huddling up before shouting “Dolphins!” or “Cape!” Flynn explained, “Gianni Bezada (‘21) always gives the countdown and he always roars it so loud it scares the opposition.”

Congratulations to the Varsity Boys Tennis team for a great season in 2019 and good luck next year!