Tennis Team Ready to Serve Up a New Season


Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Kevin Kaucher

The Bucks tennis team is getting ready to kick off their season with its first match on March 21st at Williamson Trade.

Mehul “Stretch” Shah, a professor at Bucks who teaches philosophy, religion, humanities, and critical thinking is expecting big things this season from his team.

He’s been coaching tennis here at Bucks for five years now but he expects this team to be up much improved than the ones in years past. He says during practices, there are only two rules; “get to the right spot and make them hit the ball one more time”.

The biggest reason why he expects this is because of who he thinks of as the best player hands down on the team, Adam Rapinski. He says his best trait as a player is that he does not have a weak point in his game, but most importantly he is extremely devoted.

What got “Stretch” into coaching tennis though was the love of the sport and the similarity of teaching and coaching and this drive has been pushing him to be a better coach for the team to help out his players and help them improve.

Unfortunately for last years team, they only won one game but he hopes to do much better and break the .500 mark this season which would be a phenomenal improvement for the team.

The team only has one returning player this season, An Patel, all of the other players graduated from bucks so the team this year will be made up of vastly new players so it might take some time for the chemistry to come together but it once it does, they expect to start rolling.

The coach should do a great job adjusting to the all the new players and getting them into game action in no time. During a match, he says there are only two rules; “have fun and make them hit the ball one more time”.

He says his best attribute as a coach is to observe players’ mechanics and provide specific guidance for improvement based on martial arts principles of mechanics which he has been teaching for twenty years so he knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a good coach.

Coach Shah is not only expecting bigger things because of talented players like Adam Rapinski, the # 1 seed and Zach Bradshaw, their # 2 seed but also because he feels they match up well with teams like Williamson Trade, Mercer and Ocean.

He expects every game to be tough and hard fought but two teams who he really will be focusing on to beat are Rowan and Brookdale because they always play Bucks strong and are a very skilled team.

He has high expectations for this team but in a whole it will not be an easy season by no mean because of the fact that Bucks competes in the STAR program, that allows the top 20% of high schoolers to go to community college for free.

This allows the NJ schools to have a much larger pool of the best talent but this Bucks tennis team this year is up for the challenge, they think they can accomplish a lot more this year than last year so we’ll see if they are ready for it.

Once the weather permits they will be holding practice five days a week but right now they hold practice in the gym and once a week at Northampton Tennis Center to get ready.

The season will end on Thursday April 26th  and the regional tournament is in the beginning of May. Good luck this season to the team and hopefully we’ll have a great season in store for us.