Secret tennis club revives old passions, reveals hidden talents

What began as a simple plan between friends to pass the dragging days of mid-summer has grown into an almost daily tradition for a core group of students focused on improving their tennis game or just having fun.

Seniors Callan Logan and Dhruva Someshwar began playing tennis together regularly last summer, often meeting during the day at local Stonegate Park to hit the ball around or engage in friendly and sometimes not-so-friendly competition. While Logan had never played tennis much before, he had previously played on Blake’s varsity golf team for four seasons and found the skills carried over, saying “Sometime over the summer, Dhruva [asked] if I wanted to play tennis and…I said I don’t really play tennis but I’ll try it out,” he adds, “I found I had a real knack for the sport.”

But Logan and Someshwar’s summer pastime quickly grew into a much larger affair when they decided to start playing tennis after-school with friends, many of whom came from Blake’s own girls tennis team, including seniors Georgia Lo, Vanessa Wong, and Danielle Wolk.

Someshwar adds, “One day we played after school [with senior Max Nelson and Lo]…and we all invited a few other people and we all started playing tennis,” he says, “A couple people really took to it.”

As for those who took to the sport, the group’s tournaments have become a regular part of their week. Wong adds, “We actually played a lot of tennis before it got cold, we’d play maybe two or three times a week, sometimes every day.”

Members of the group also recounted how their sessions would often go for much longer than expected. Senior Elias Boussouf actually expressed gratitude to the Transfiguration Episcopal Church on New Hampshire Ave. for allowing them to stay and keep playing until 11 p.m. several nights, as well as the courts at Olney Recreational Park. Even when the lights got turned out on them, the group remained committed to playing as much as possible.

In the amount of time they’ve had to play together before the impending winter came in, the group has seen a considerable amount of growth. Wong adds, “A lot of people who hadn’t really played tennis before got a lot better…they improved so much in such a short time.”

Someshwar, who used to play tennis as a child, credits the group’s tournaments with helping him rekindle his passion for the sport and actually aims to try out for the boys’ tennis team after this experience. He says, “It was just really fun to be able to spend time with friends outside of the normal classroom environment…it was a new dynamic that was pretty fun to explore.”

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