Fraser High tennis player Michael Federico attempts to earn a point for his team during a No. 2 singles match earlier this season. For the first time in more than five years, Fraser didn’t finish first or second in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division this season.

Fraser High tennis player Michael Federico attempts to earn a point for his team during a No. 2 singles match earlier this season. For the first time in more than five years, Fraser didn’t finish first or second in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division this season.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Fraser High boys tennis enduring a ‘rebuilding’ season

By: Mark Vest | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published October 1, 2018

 Fraser High senior Jackson Winbigler eyes the ball during a No. 1 doubles match earlier this year. After previously competing at Division 1 regional tournaments, Fraser is slated to play at a D-2 tournament hosted by Grosse Pointe North.

Fraser High senior Jackson Winbigler eyes the ball during a No. 1 doubles match earlier this year. After previously competing at Division 1 regional tournaments, Fraser is slated to play at a D-2 tournament hosted by Grosse Pointe North.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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FRASER — After finishing either first or second in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division dual meet standings from 2013 to 2017, Fraser High boys tennis coach Frank Wu said his team is going through a “rebuilding” year.

The Ramblers finished the MAC Blue dual meet portion of their schedule with a record of 0-4-1. The MAC Blue division tournament, which is when divisional teams compete at the same setting on the same date, was scheduled for Oct. 2, after press time.

Fraser lost much of its team from last season to graduation.

“We were kind of expecting a tougher year,” Wu said.

Although struggles aren’t always fun when programs are in the midst of them, this season could be an opportunity for Fraser to help set the course for the future.

“That’s my biggest thing, is that it sets a foundation to make sure that these guys are doing (the) most basic things well before we do anything else,” Wu said. “Definitely more of a concentration this year than in previous, because the guys maybe have less years under their belt in playing this game.  So, just reinforcing what they need to do day in and day out. I kind (of) call it boring tennis. But boring tennis is also winning tennis.”

One of the players who could help lead the way going forward is sophomore Ethan Wu, who plays No. 1 singles for the team.

This is Frank Wu’s second season coaching his son.

The chance to do so is not one he expected to have.

Wu previously coached at Warren Cousino, and his expectation was that he would remain there while his son was slated to attend Fraser.

But when the opportunity came to coach at Fraser, Frank Wu seized it.

“I definitely contribute this all to God,” the coach said. “He put the pieces together to allow me to step into a program, coach my kid. … I’ve been blessed with a fantastic son. … Not many coaches can coach their sons, and I totally contribute that to Ethan’s demeanor and his drive.”

Ethan Wu said he was excited to play for his dad and has enjoyed his chance to play varsity tennis for the Ramblers.

“It’s been a great atmosphere,” he said. “I really like playing tennis for Fraser. I get along with all the other players real well.”

Frank Wu may have “double the fun” in the future, as his youngest son, Jared, is currently in eighth grade.

As for the rest of this season, the Ramblers still have a regional tournament to look forward to.

Things could be more interesting than they have been in years past, as Fraser will compete at a Division 2 regional Oct. 12 hosted by Grosse Pointe North.

In recent seasons, the Ramblers competed at a D-1 regional hosted by Grosse Pointe South, with Troy High, Troy Athens and South typically taking the top three spots and advancing to a state final.

“That was always pretty tough, even if I had a pretty strong team,” Frank Wu said. “With that being said, D-2 regional is Grosse Pointe North. So, that obviously is definitely not a walk in the park either. Grosse Pointe North has been dominant for probably the last 10 to 20 years. It just gives us definitely a new look at it.  … To deal with one or two really good teams is a better look than facing three giants.”

Although the record may not reflect it right now, there are some things for the coach to like about Fraser’s tennis program.

“(The) culture and atmosphere is well-structured now,” he said. “I think the transition period is over with; I’m in my third season, and the guys know what to expect. Being consistent and being firm is definitely my road, so to speak. And the guys, I think, like that structure.”

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