FERNDALE — Ferndale High senior James Kristy’s first inclination that this would be a fun tennis season came in the first match.
“I expected my senior year to be fun, but it went past my expectations,” he said. “Everyone is just a big group of friends. Even if we lose, no one gets down on someone. Everyone is supportive. It’s just a great team.”
The Eagles finished 4-4-1 overall and 1-3-1 in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division. The season came to a close Oct. 11 in a Division 3 regional at Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood.
“This is probably one of the best seasons we’ve had … I’ve been playing for four years,” Kristy said. “The first match of the season, people started getting into their groove, realizing they need to step up, and we can do good this year.”
Kristy was most proud of earning a medal at the OAA Blue tournament, finishing third at No. 1 doubles with fellow seniors Thaddeus Closson.
Sophomore Jacob Keller was the other teammate to place; he took third at No. 1 singles.
The roster included six seniors, five sophomores and one freshman. Coach Michael Mitchell said it’s imperative to bring more kids out for the team next year if it expects to continue to improve. With half the team as underclassmen this season, he sees a bright future for the Eagles if the numbers improve.
“By time they’re seniors, we should be pretty solid,” he said. “We also have two seventh-graders that have been hitting with us. We should be on par with (league rivals) Harrison, Royal Oak, Farmington and Avondale.”
For this season’s seniors, Mitchell commended them on their dedication.
“They always showed up on time. That doesn’t always happen. They’re always here, which is a good thing. They’re dependable guys. Most of them played three or four years, and pretty much all of them couldn’t hit to save their lives when they were freshmen,” Mitchell said with a laugh. “All of them have definitely improved.”