Following a trip to the tennis state championship last spring, close friends and teammates Will Pilkinton, 15, and Chase Lewis, 17, are bound to lead Langley High School in a gripping 2014 season.
School: Langley High School
Favorite subjects: Math and science
Activities/interests: Tennis, soccer, eating, working out and TV.
Tennis experience: This past year was my first year on the Langley High School tennis team where I played doubles matches. I have also played in some USTA (United States Tennis Association) tournaments.
*At what age did you start playing tennis?
Pilkinton: I started playing at 3 years old. Seriously.
Lewis: I started playing when I was 11 years old.
*What sparked your interest?
Pilkinton: When I was younger I went to the pool and became bored with swimming. I wanted variety, so I went to the tennis courts and started hitting balls against the wall. I made friends there, and the coaches gave me some pointers.
Lewis: My dad played when he was a student at Langley High School. I first took an interest in the game because he plays, and at The Hamlet the coaches made the sport fun.
*Describe your most rewarding match.
Pilkinton: I remember winning my first USTA tournament. It was very hot, and I won 6-3 against a higher ranked player.
Lewis: Our Langley team won decisively over McLean High School in the regional semi-finals during my sophomore year.
*What have been the highlights of summer training at Hamlet Swim and Tennis Club?
Pilkinton: I have enjoyed becoming friends with the coaches, Darius Firouzgar and Ivan Pizarro, and improving my tennis skills.
Lewis: I have access to great coaches and training facilities at The Hamlet.
*What do you think of the tennis opportunities in the McLean area?
Pilkinton: There are great opportunities at The Hamlet, especially having access to both hard and clay surfaces. Darius and Ivan have been great mentors. I have also played in tournaments at The Regency Sport and Health Club, which has great facilities as well.
Lewis: The McLean area presents several opportunities for kids to grow as tennis players. We have the advantage of both hard and clay courts.
*What are you looking forward to most for the upcoming school season?
Pilkinton: I look forward to seeing all of the great players next year.
Lewis: I am looking forward to helping lead our team to win the state championship.
*What is your favorite memory of playing tennis during high school?
Pilkinton: My favorite memory was watching my team play in the tennis state finals against Thomas Jefferson High School.
Lewis: I remember the fun in playing and getting better as an individual and as a team player with my friends.
*How have you improved your game this year?
Pilkinton: I have been practicing every day and working hard.
Lewis: I have strengthened my backhand and overall development in all aspects of the game.
School: Langley High School
Favorite subjects: Tennis and math
Activities/interests: I enjoy tennis, hanging out with friends, and making money working on The Hamlet courts and cutting lawns in my neighborhood.
Tennis experience: Last season on Langley High School’s team I won 19 matches and lost one. I was named first team all region.
*Which skills do you hope to improve in the future?
Pilkinton: I would like to improve my overall consistency in all aspects of the game.
Lewis: I hope to improve my physicality and my serve.
*What is the team spirit and camaraderie like at Langley and Hamlet?
Pilkinton: At Langley the players are a great group of guys that work and play well together as a team. We also have a great team at The Hamlet. Everyone pitches in, including the parents, to make the season enjoyable.
Lewis: There is great team spirit at both Langley and The Hamlet, which makes them great environments for playing and for improving my skills.
*Do you have tennis aspirations beyond high school?
Pilkinton: I would like to improve my game and apply for a scholarship to play in college.
Lewis: I would love to play throughout college and have it be a life long sport.
*Finally, who’s your favorite tennis player and why?
Pilkinton: My favorite player is Gael Monfils because he is fun to watch. He is exciting on the court and hits spectacular shots.
Lewis: My favorite player is Gael Monfils because he is so entertaining.