The Pilgrim boys’ tennis team doesn’t have any reason to put expectations on its 2014 season, especially since the wins and losses most likely aren’t going to paint a pretty picture.
But the Pats are enjoying themselves nonetheless. With only eight players on the roster, Pilgrim will start every match by forfeiting at No. 3 doubles. Of those eight, only a few have even played tennis before, leaving the Pats with very little experience and no real time to gain it with the season already in full swing.
Competing in Division II, where the team went 1-11 last year with more experience, is a tall task. The Pats graduated No. 1 player Tom Greenberg and No. 3 singles player Jack Howland.
Right now, Pilgrim is just going along for the ride.
“We probably have only had half a dozen practices this year,” said head coach Gary Gorman. “I’m just teaching some of these kids how to hold a racket, how to score. It’s very elementary.”
Thus far, the Pats are 0-2, losing 7-0 to Chariho last Tuesday and then falling by the same score to Classical on Thursday.
Improvement has been difficult to gauge, as Pilgrim’s group didn’t win a game against Chariho and then earned just one game win against Classical, thanks to No. 2 singles player Hunter Bazarnick.
The hope is that Pilgrim will see at least some improvement as the season wears on. For now, that’s the only goal.
“As long as they’re having fun, which they are,” Gorman said.
Taking over the No. 1 singles spot is junior Joseph Chehy, who played No. 2 singles last season. Bazarnick is slotted in at No. 2, with junior Peter Lemoi at No. 3 and senior Rich Fredericks at No. 4. Lemoi played some at No. 4 last season, while Fredericks was a doubles contributor.
On the first doubles team is sophomore Ryan Boisse, who played doubles a season ago, and sophomore Corey Packingham. Packingham is new to the team and has never played tennis before.
The second doubles team is even more inexperienced. It’s comprised of senior Jose Rojas and junior Nathan Thomas, neither of whom have ever played the game.
“We gained three players this year who never picked up a tennis racket,” Gorman said. “It’s a work in progress. Very, very, very inexperienced.”
And they’ll continue to work. Pilgrim’s next match is at Woonsocket today at 3 p.m.
The Pats likely won’t make the playoffs, and they may not even break into the win column. But they’re learning the game, trying to get better and giving it a shot.
No one is too worried about the results.
“You don’t want to turn the program down because some of these kids want to play,” Gorman said.