After missing all of last season, 2010 state champ has eyes on 2012 prize
Published September 26, 2012
TROY — The descent was as unpredictable as it was harsh.
A state champ in one instant, Brett Forman was seemingly on the operating table the next.
Wear and tear had taken its toll, and the Troy High sophomore could suffer through it no more.
A stress fracture in his back required healing last fall, and during the winter, he needed surgery on his hip.
An avid tennis player who was on the rise in his high school career and on the radar of many college scouts, now faced 17 months away from the game.
“It’s been difficult and frustrating,” Forman said last week. “Tennis was such a huge part of my life, and then it was gone, for a long time.”
He’s back now, and with the 2012 regional event set for Oct. 11, all focus is set on one familiar goal.
“I think every high school tennis player dreams of being a state champ,” Forman said. “Realistically, I think I can compete for a state title again.”
“His aim is to win another state title,” coach Brian Miska said. “Truthfully, he has the ability to do it.”
As a sophomore, Forman earned the No. 1 singles title, beating Novi Detroit Catholic Central’s Joe Dube 3-6, 6-2 and 6-1.
“At the time, he was ranked No. 19 in the country by Tennis Recruiting.net. He was a blue-chip recruit. I mean, the whole nine yards,” Miska said.
The injuries and time away has changed all that, a fact Forman was quick to point out.
“Being out for so long, I know I’m not at my best yet,” he said, adding that he didn’t start playing again until July of this summer.
But asked where exactly his game is right now, Forman paused.
“It’s hard to really put into words,” he continued. “I feel rusty still, like I know I’m not where I have to be. … It’s a battle, but I feel like I’m on the right track.”
Forman was 11-3 at press time, and one of his three losses was to Northville High’s Tyler Gardiner, the 2011 D-1 state champ.
“He’s still a phenomenal tennis player, one the rest of our team builds off of,” said Miska, whose team was 8-2 at press time and has set winning regionals as one of its team goals. “He still believes he’s someone that can win a state title, and if he believes that, I’ll back him on it.”
But with the regional event roughly a week away, is there enough time for Forman to get himself up to speed, or at least to the level he wants to be playing?
“No, probably not,” Forman said with a laugh. “But I don’t think the best player always wins. The key for me for me is being at a point where I know I can compete and I know I can give myself a chance, and I feel like I’m getting there. It’s all a process. But I’m improving every day, and that’s the main thing I have to control.”