All In This Together


Robert Viray-Edwards, ENN Staff

Teamwork makes the dream work. Though it may be cliché, it is yet true for the Lake Ridge tennis team. Making it to districts and regionals, the tennis team swung their way into success for both the Fall season and Spring season.

Head Coach, Christopher Peralta and Assistant Coach, Ariel Bueno, make sure that the team is led to greatness with high expectations. Practicing after school almost everyday, they make the team do various types of drills, including: small group drills, lightbulb drills, and hand toss drills to work on the team’s technique and ultimately get better. With great efforts comes great results and as for Peralta, he could not be more than pleased for how the season turned out.

“It was a very good season. It felt like it went by really really fast, but in the end, we had a lot of success. We are really proud of the efforts and performances of our kids and I am definitely going to miss this senior group,” said Peralta.

Not only was the season satisfactory for the coaches, but the players as well. For some of the team, they had been playing tennis for as long as ten years or more, so for their work to be paid off is nothing short of a good feeling. A great season goes beyond winning. It can be because of how well the team worked together. For senior and Girls Team Captain, Kamari Cook, the season was so good that she was saddened whenever it came to a close.

“It was very upsetting whenever it ended, but the tennis team is like a family and we treat each other very respectfully. It helps us be better as a team and as a whole tennis community,” said Cook.

Though it may not always be about winning, that aspect is always a plus side in working hard. Winning can always make all of the struggles and practicing worth it in the end. And with the team making it to districts and regionals, winning was something the team clearly did a lot of. For senior and Boys Team Captain, Benjamin Dalton, winning makes the game worth all of the hard work.

“Typically whenever I go into a big match or any match, I do not feel calm, so I am nervous. However, when I win a match, it feels relieving, because I did not lose and it is like all my stress and nerves have calmed down. It makes all of the practice worth it,” said Dalton.

However, winning cannot be achieved without a unified team. Teamwork is the key to success and playing a sport where everyone has to be on the same page, everybody has to get along. Some say there are cheat codes to a good team. For Peralta, the essentials needed for a successful and united team is communication and selflessness.

“I think there are a few things that are extremely important. I think selflessness, like the idea of playing for something and someone beyond yourself. I believe the team must be hardworking, but that also goes along with selflessness, working for something larger than yourself. And I believe that demonstrates enthusiasm,” said Peralta.

In the past, the Lake Ridge tennis team has had its fair share of wins and losses, but as each season comes to an end, there is no time to rest until the next season. With some kids being seniors, there will always be a new wave of kids coming in and having the coaches work with a new batch of kids. For Bueno and Peralta, they always look forward to a new season for the team to grow.

“Even though we lost a lot of players from last year, a lot of seniors who graduated. On both the girls and boys side, we lost some good players, but we still had a good fall and spring season,” said Bueno.

“I think as far as the group of kids, this has been one of the most fun group of kids to coach,” said Peralta.

With the seniors leaving this year, that leaves big shoes for other players to step up and fill. Playing for all four years, the seniors have grown individually and with their team as a whole. Going onto college and leaving high school tennis behind, their legacy will not be forgotten. For Cook, she wants to be remembered as a great leader.

“I want to leave this school with the team still as a family. I want to set an example for the middle school kids and the new kids coming in that they will be just fine and comfortable in the team, even when I am not there,” said Cook.

Despite not winning the championship, it is undeniable that the tennis team has worked hard to get where they are at now. Through thick and thin, the tennis team has prevailed for an amazing season and they couldn’t have done it without each other.