BCHS Tennis Looks For Brighter Spring Success
By Elio Velez
John Sullivan remembered a story last year when the head coach of the Beach Channel Dolphins arrived at Cardozo High School for a boys' tennis match.
When the Dolphins arrived, Sullivan said that his whole team watched each Cardozo player practice with at least 10 tennis racks for every possible scenario from serve to backhand.
The Dolphins players only brought one rack each for the match.
Admittedly, Sullivan says it was one example of how his players, though eager to compete, were a bit overmatched playing in the PSAL Queens 'A' Division last year.
After finishing at 0-12 in the regular season, PSAL Tennis Commissioner Gary Kastin and Sullivan discussed and agreed to move Beach Channel back to the 'B' Division for the spring campaign.
Sullivan says it's not a slight towards his players, many of who were new who were just getting varsity experience. They were just outplayed by competition that practices year around and plays in amateur tournaments when the school season is completed.
The Dolphins on the other hand have only a few players who compete outside of the school season.
"We tried out best. We had lost many seniors and he [Gar] had to fill another spot in the Queens 'A' Division," Sullivan said when his team was 12-0 in the 2004-05 season.
"We went up against some of the best teams in the city. Now we're in the 'B' Division and that is good for us."
The Dolphins have already used the learning experience in previously competing in the 'A' to do well so far in this spring season.
Beach Channel is 3-0 as senior Gary Passik returns to the team as first singles player. He played as a sophomore but declined to return and played baseball instead.
"I wasn't going to force him to choose a sport. I tell anyone they should enjoy the sport they choose and like it," Sullivan said.
"He's tall, lean and he has a good serve. He's improved a lot over the summer and should help us out at first singles."
Michael Hinds, a junior who was on the roster last year, will play as the second singles. Christopher Avila, who is described as a bulldog by Sullivan, will be third singles.
Not many teams can say they have a home advantage in tennis but the swirling Jamaica Bay winds will be an advantage for Beach Channel according to Sullivan.
Michael Hinds has a similar optimism as his head coach that good fortunes will be heaped upon his squad if they perform well.
It (last season) was very tough. We played our hardest. The object of the game is to win but at that stage, we were looking for experience," Hinds said.
We got that and we brought some of it back to the 'B' Division.
Sullivan concurs with Hinds assessment.
"We have to play the other teams but the feeling on our team is that we have the experience to do well," Sullivan said. "We're feeling positive and we learned a lot from last year."