Boy’s tennis team returns to courts after long hiatus

Lizzy Rotchford, Staff writer

or the first time in almost 10 years the school has a boy’s tennis team. A few boys were interested in playing, and went to athletic director Alfie Wheeler about starting a team.

“We have had some interest from several students for starting the team back,” Wheeler said.  “If the student athletes involved in tennis this spring commit to the sport, and participate fully, I think it is something we would like to continue into the future.”

Science teacher Emily DiNoto is coaching the tennis team. She has been playing tennis since she was 5 years old. She has helped out at tennis camps, and she gave lessons while she was in college. She has never coached a high school tennis team before, but she has previously coached cross country and cheerleading at Manteo. She volunteered to coach because she loves tennis and wants to get back on the courts.

“Any spring sport is a great way to get out and get some exercise,” DiNoto said. “I like tennis because it’s a sport you can play for the rest of your life.”

Official try-outs began Feb. 13. Seven boys came out. All seven made the team, so it includes four seniors, two juniors and one freshman.

The seniors said that most of them decided to play tennis because their time in high school is coming to an end and many of them have not yet played a sport.

“I wanted to play tennis because I had not played a sport in high school yet and I wanted to experience that,” senior Albert Hurley said. “Tennis seemed the least competitive and the most enjoyable option.”

Although the team is dominated by seniors, the younger players hope this season will attract future players.

“I decided to try out for tennis to experience something different,” freshman Riley Gibbs said. “I am excited to play a new sport and learn new skills.   I hope that next year there will be lots of new people.”

Currently, Gates County is the only other school with a tennis team in the school’s conference. However, next year Edenton will join Manteo’s conference, and they also have a boy’s tennis team. This year’s schedule includes matches against Currituck,  First Flight, Edenton and Gates County.

The team played its first match Thursday, March 2 at Currituck.  It lost 1-8.

“The first match was a blow out, but it was fun,” junior Max Allison said.  “It helped us figure out what we need to work on to prepare for the rest of the season.”