TBy Nicholas Sathi ’20
Trying to accomplish a feat for the interest of oneself is difficult, but when representing the interests of a larger group of people, the challenge can become unimaginable. Evan Brady ’19 found himself in one such situation at the annual Nassau-Suffolk Catholic High School Athletic Association Individual Tennis Tournament in late May. Representing Chaminade’s varsity-A tennis team, Brady got the best of this pressure, sweeping through his competitors to claim first place.
This year, three Flyers entered the season’s final singles competition, and four Chaminade pairs entered in doubles. Other participating schools included St. Anthony’s High School, St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School, and Kellenberg Memorial High School. This contest was not a team competition; rather, each singles player or doubles team was trying to defeat whomever they played against individually. Regardless, each competitor wanted to proudly represent his or her school.
The tournament was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 15 at Hofstra University, but due to severe thunderstorms, it was postponed. Persistent rains prevented the tournament from resuming for an entire week after the original postponement, but the players finally returned to the courts, this time at Cedar Creek Park.
In the doubles competition, each of Chaminade’s four teams was eliminated early on, within the first two rounds. In the singles tournament, however, Evan Brady ’19 and Cameron Dahl ’18 were extremely successful. While Dahl lost in the semifinals against Tavish McNulty from St. Anthony’s, Brady beat his competitor, Cameron Levchuck, also a Friar. Brady then went on to beat McNulty in the finals by a score of 6-3, 6-1.
Tennis is a physically challenging sport, demanding strength and endurance. Often overlooked about the sport, however, is its mental aspect. A player’s attitude and ability to remain calm and focused during a match can greatly influence the outcome. Brady, along with all the other players in the tournament, faced a tremendous amount of pressure in trying to win, but also in representing his school.
Just a few days before the tournament began, Chaminade lost to St. Anthony’s in the league championship matches. This team championship was very close; the deciding factor was only one match out of the seven played in total. With this team defeat still on his mind, Brady did not want to let his teammates down after the disappointment the week before. Moreover, all other Chaminade players had been eliminated before the individual finals, further elevating the stress of the situation.
“There was definitely some pressure that [we] felt because of the championship loss, but we could not let the pressure throw us off our game,” explained Brady.
Proud to win in the name of Chaminade, he was thrilled to have come back from the prior week’s defeat and represent his team well in the process.
“Participating in the individual tournament allowed the team to get a second chance against St. Anthony’s and to show them that we were still there to fight,” he admitted. “The loss pushed us to the top of our game and gave us the energy to push ourselves to play to the best of our abilities.”
Head coach Mr. Daniel Petruccio was extremely proud and impressed by Brady’s performance.
“Evan is focused, hardworking, and talented,” remarked the coach. “I know winning it as a member of the team is very important to him, as well.”
The Flyers ended the season on a positive note. Even though they lost in the team championship final, they were still able to reassert their skill, as witnessed through the tremendous tournament results posted by Brady and Dahl. With tremendous talent and excellent coaching, the team hopes to bounce back stronger than ever next year and work hard to take home the league championship.