Rallying to State

H-F Varsity Tennis team heads to State


H-F girl’s tennis is known for making noise. They currently have 31 sectional championships under their belt and are aiming for their 32nd.
While they have a long history of winning, the stakes have been upped this year.
“The state of Illinois has implemented a class system,” varsity head coach Don Baron said. “Before it was a no class system; whether you were a small school or a big school, we were all bumped into one draw.”
The new system breaks schools into two classes. If a school has below 1500 students, they’re Class A. Any school with more than that is Class B.
“We would typically have the same sectional every year, but now we have a totally different formatting against bigger schools,” Baron said. “There’s a lot of pressure on us now because bigger schools tend to have better players.”
Baron is focused on improving the Vikings strategic game and going more in depth with the way they play.
“We’re trying to just work as hard as we can and correct some problems of things we know that we have deficiencies in,” Baron said. “We are also trying to just continue to do what we do well.”
Instead of letting the newfound pressure get to them, the Vikings are using it as motivation to work even harder.
“It definitely has made us push ourselves harder since our sectional got switched and we’re in a harder one,” senior captain Jane Wenckus said. “For playoffs, we’ve been practicing everyday, even on off days.”
The Vikings are completely focused on the road ahead. They are confident in their abilities and prepared for State.
“Mentally, I’ve been preparing myself by just staying focused on the goal and telling myself to give it my all,” junior Elyse Mansfield said. “No matter what the outcome is, I know what truly counts.”
2016 H-F alumna and McKendree University tennis player Kaela Mack had some advice for her old teammates.                                                                                                                                                                 “Just focus on practicing your hardest and make sure you’re going into matches with a winning mentality,” Mack said.
Sectionals were last Friday and Saturday at Andrew High School. The doubles team of Wenckus and junior Lauren Parker competed at State yesterday.