Changes Coming For Varsity Tennis

by Mallory Carlson ’19

MCPS has recently decided to make changes concerning the girls’ tennis season. The girls, starting in the 2018-2019 school year, will compete in the spring as the boys’ team does currently.

The change has been discussed for a long time, and is the result of various different factors. First, Montgomery County is one of the only counties in Maryland that still has the girls’ and boys’ teams competing at different times of the year. Secondly, it has recently been determined by the Maryland Public Schools Secondary Athletic Association (MPSSAA) that “student-athletes may only participate in MPSSAA post season events when their regular season coincides with the season in which the state championship is held.” MCPS did not support the new regulation. Because the state championship is held in the spring, if the girls were to continue to play in the fall, they would not be able to compete in states.

As for how the team/teams will be structured, that is yet to be determined. Various possibilities were discussed on Tuesday, October 10 when a meeting was held by MCPS. There were coaches and players in attendance, who received information on the potential ways the team/teams could look.

One option is to have a separate the boys’ and girls’ teams, which would mean that the structure of the teams would not change; they would simply operate at the same time. Although this would have the benefit of continuity for players, it would create issues logistically; for example, coaching would become a problem because currently Tom Maley is the main coach for both Sherwood’s boys’ and girls’ teams. It is possible that there would have to be two different practice times for the teams.

A second option is to have the team be coed, which in and of itself could go different ways. There could be one varsity team (this is the case currently, there is no JV tennis), which would consist of five girls and five boys (two girls singles players, two boys singles players, one girls’ doubles team, one boys’ doubles team, and one mixed doubles team). In the case of a coed team, a JV team could be a possibility, to compensate for the fact that 10 students would lose their spots as varsity players.

Some players disapprove of the change. “I don’t like that the girls’ season is changing to the spring,” said junior Hyacinth Heo, who currently plays #2 singles for the girls’ team. “The change makes things so complicated with the boys’ team being in the spring season also.”