CEDAR RAPIDS — Hard work results in successful endings.
This is something Cedar Rapids Xavier senior Jon Lansing knows well.
Lansing and 2017 graduate Charlie Esker won the Class 1A boys’ tennis state doubles tournament last year, and Lansing hopes to do the same this year.
“He has a passion for the sport of tennis and has a fiery drive for winning,” junior teammate Brady Christensen said. “He knows how to rally people behind him and that is what really matters in a leader.”
Although Lansing is getting a new doubles partner this year (projected to be senior Alex Hinrichs), he is confident they will make a showing at state.
“We have been playing together ever since middle school, so we have good chemistry with each other,” Lansing said of Hinrichs.
Besides doubles, Lansing has his eyes set on some singles victories, as well.
“I want to make an impact by hopefully winning state in some way,” Lansing said. “I already have the doubles and team trophies, so I hope to get the singles and mixed doubles trophies to really cap off my experience at Xavier.”
As a team, the Saints hope to make it back to state and work on developing their chemistry on and off the court.
“Our goals for the season are just the same as they have always been: to win,” Christensen said. “And while that still rings true, we also aim to keep the team fun and engaged with the sport. Keeping morale up is also a definite goal that we have going into the year.”
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The team has been training for this upcoming season since last May. Many of the athletes use their winters and weekends to gather up a small team and practice together. They work on their hitting and techniques in order to get in better shape for the spring.
“No matter who wins, it is always a learning experience,” Christensen said. “Practice makes perfect and all that.”
The boys’ tennis season starts on Monday at Byrnes Park in Waterloo against Waterloo Columbus. The matches begin at 4 p.m.