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Enjoyable Season at Hamlet

Q&A with Langley High tennis players Pilkinton and Lewis.

From left: Will Pilkinton, Hamlet coach Ivan Pizarro, Chase Lewis.

From left: Will Pilkinton, Hamlet coach Ivan Pizarro, Chase Lewis. Photos courtesy of Les Pilkinton

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.

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Will Pilkinton

Will Pilkinton

Hometown: McLean

Age: 15

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.

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Chase Lewis

*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.

Chase Lewis

Hometown: McLean

Age: 17

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.