By Chris Chaney
Questions surrounding the Amelia tennis team coming into this season weren’t personnel related or how many matches the team was going to win. The biggest concern for head coach Rick McMullen was whether or not there was going to be a team at all.
As a result of the uncertainty, the Barons were only able to get three individuals to come out for the team, meaning that in order for Amelia to win a match, all three singles matches must be won.
“It’s sad that we only have the three singles out, just for the fact that just as soon as someone loses a match, you’ve lost the whole thing because you’re forfeiting the two doubles,” McMullen said. “The three kids that came out are improving day-to-day and getting better. They’re out and they’re making the best of it.”
The three Barons that came out are Anthony Ammato, Trevor McMullen and Brittany Guy. Guy missed the girls’ season in the fall and came out to improve her game for next season’s girls’ team.
“Anthony is a junior and he’s been in the program for three years, but this has been his first year competing on a day-to-day basis,” McMullen said. “Playing second (singles, Trevor) is a sophomore. Night in, night out, he’s in a little above his head because he just picked up the sport last year as a freshman. He’s learning on a day-to-day basis how to play and compete.
“In third singles, Brittany is a sophomore. She’s probably improved more than any body, but the power of the guy’s game has hurt her a little bit because she’s a smaller kid. But she’s gone out and it’s going to make her better and hopefully be able compete next fall in the girls.”
The trio of players is doing their best to compete and carry the flag for Amelia, which will hopefully field a full team next season. The loss of Azizbek Ruziboev, who did not come out for the team this season, certainly hurt the school’s chances for a postseason run.
McMullen pointed out that with Amelia competing on the Division I level, it would be difficult for some relatively inexperienced players to really make a run at the sectional tournament in May.
“We’d like to go and be able compete in the first round,” McMullen said. “Hopefully, somebody can sneak in and get one, but right now, we’re at a learning stage.”
Under McMullen, the team has a solid leader and someone committed to growing the level of play at Amelia. Because of the lack of numbers this season, the promise of the program may not be shown, but the commitment to the game and program is clear as these three student-athletes continue to represent Amelia High School well.