Junior takes the lead on the court


Holding on to his racket, junior Kyle Manner takes his stance. Staring down his opponent, Manner tosses the ball into the air and hits it over the net. His opponent from Park Tudor, strikes the ball to him as they volley it back and forth to each other. Manner runs along the court to hit the tennis ball, one wrong move and that could be the point for the other player, but he keeps his composure. He stays focused and he hits the ball inbounds, to the right of his opponent. The bright neon yellow ball bounces out of reach, all the way to the fence, to win the set. 

Six years of tennis playing have come and gone for Manner, yet his persistence to improve his craft has helped him keep at the top of his game at LN. Being a tourney, someone who plays tennis tournaments year around, has helped him to be the player he is today. Head coach Brad Cangany sees how valuable Manner is on the court because of the mentality he possesses.

“Kyle has developed a strong and competitive tennis game because he plays year round and he does tournaments. Not only that, but he is well balanced emotionally. He never under reacts or overreacts to situations during a match. By being calm he is able to make better game decisions, which might ultimately help him win,” Cangany said. 

“Usually I don’t get mad at myself and I try to keep a calm personality so that the other teammate can’t use that against me. In tennis, if your opponent is getting mad, you would want to do anything you can to make them even more mad, and if I show them that I’m not mad, they can’t use it against me,” Manner said. 

Every day after school the boys tennis team is either practicing or playing matches. However, time management isn’t a worry for Manner. 

“After school I go to play my sport and do homework at night. That’s just the way it is,” Manner said. 

Not only do the coaches recognize Manner’s value, the team members all realize that he isn’t just a talented teammate, he’s also a friend. Senior Ethan Macbeth has known Manner for years, and to him, he knows that Manner will have his back on the courts. 

“Kyle is a good teammate. When the guys on the team are down, Kyle is there and he cheers them on and kind of gives them their adrenaline back and gets them to focus on the game,” Macbeth said, “ and while he’s a nice person on the court, he’s also serious about the game and he stays focused. Even when he’s down he hypes himself up and he keeps going.” 

Not only does Manner’s positivity support the team on the court, his game helps them out with the fact that he holds the number one spot in singles. Each match is different in their own way and some are harder than others. 

“When we were playing Brebeuf, it was difficult because their player never missed. He always got to the ball and was able to hit it back,” Manner said.  

This spot isn’t given but earned, every single day on the court. It isn’t always easy, but Manner proves that he deserves it. 

”The players have practice matches against each other and no one has been able to beat Kyle, so that makes him No.1 on the team,” Cangany said.  

Manner recognizes the features that makes him a valuable team player and what may have gotten him the No.1 spot. His record for this year is 3-4.  It takes hard work, but Manner has got what it takes to keep going. While tennis may not be something that he will pursue in college, it’s what he loves to do. 

“I continue to play because I love being able to get out and socialize with the team and getting physical exercise. While we may be a team, we are closer than just ‘tennis players’,” Manner said.