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Athlete of the Month - Peter Huynh

Sally King, President

Saturday, March 16, 2024

With spring bringing a fresh sports season to West, there have been many shining stars in soccer, track, tennis, lacrosse, and baseball. On the tennis team, one player has risen to #1 following the loss of the holders of the 1-6 rankings on the team - all of whom graduated last year. Junior Peter Huynh has found himself as the tennis team’s star player through tons of practice and encouragement from his past teammates, and I had the pleasure of hearing more about his journey to the top: from nonchalant to number one!

What made you start playing tennis? 

Rob Cummings is who got me into the sport. I didn’t plan to play tennis until he told me to - I kind of got addicted by watching him play. He was my friend first during soccer season, and he told me to play because it was his last year and he wanted to do another sport with me. I was actually going to do track instead. 

What is your biggest accomplishment so far with tennis?

I got rookie of the year, which has become my motivation to keep playing. I didn’t start off too well during tennis season, and then everything kind of changed when I got the award for rookie of the year, or best pick of freshmen. It gave me the confidence to keep going.

What are your hopes for the future with this sport?

Probably go to states and pass regionals, bringing home the state championship, maybe. We do have a good team this year, because we’re mostly sophomores and juniors and freshmen. Next year could be even better. After high school, I’d like to be able to go to a D3 or D2 tennis college - whether or not I go will depend on if I get any offers.

What do you like the most about being on the West team specifically?

The coach - we have a new coach this year, who I like, and the team itself, which has improved a lot since last year. No one expects us to be good for this year since we lost our top 6, so we didn’t have much hope, but it’s turned out well so far. The team has really good chemistry, the top 6 also have really good chemistry. My doubles partner, Guion Capeheart, and I have played together for 3 years, so at this point we kind of know what the other person is going to do.

How do you handle stress before a match? 

I mostly just eat. Every match I honestly just eat a lot before, it's kind of like how I release that stress. 

Do you have a favorite song to listen to before a match?

Yes, of course. Domino by Jessie J, that’s what I play before every match. It’s either that or California Girls by Katy Perry. 

What would your advice be to any tennis player just starting out?

My best advice is just to not give up. I kind of started out not being very good, and I wanted to give up halfway through because I didn’t think I was going to be good enough at the sport. I mean, that’s what Rob told me, to just keep playing. The longer you play, the longer you practice, the more work you put in, the better you get. I played over the summer almost every day, and that’s how I got better. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share that you feel is important to you as a player? 

That we’re going to beat Croatan this year. Croatan is the only team that seems to dislike us, or the only team that seems to get very competitive with us. It gets pretty heated. There’s always a lot of people there. This year it’ll be me against Croatan's number one player, and people are starting to place bets on it. That match is March 26, and it’s either going to be a blowout or a good match - depending on my forehand. 

If you’re feeling discouraged in a sport that you’re just starting out, be like Peter and don’t give up. Put in the work, and maybe you can improve just like he has! Come out to support the men’s tennis team against Croatan on March 26 at Fort Benjamin Park in Newport. 

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