Varsity tennis player welcomes challenges

Jared Zirkes tackles difficulties

Junior+Jared+Zirkes+prepares+to+take+a+shot+April+13+at+his+tennis+scrimmage+against+Providence+Academy.+The+varsity+team+has+their+first+match+4+p.m.+April+20+at+the+St.+Louis+Park+High+School+tennis+courts.+
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Varsity tennis player welcomes challenges

Junior Jared Zirkes prepares to take a shot April 13 at his tennis scrimmage against Providence Academy. The varsity team has their first match 4 p.m. April 20 at the St. Louis Park High School tennis courts.

Junior Jared Zirkes prepares to take a shot April 13 at his tennis scrimmage against Providence Academy. The varsity team has their first match 4 p.m. April 20 at the St. Louis Park High School tennis courts.

Used with written permission from Jared Zirkes

Junior Jared Zirkes prepares to take a shot April 13 at his tennis scrimmage against Providence Academy. The varsity team has their first match 4 p.m. April 20 at the St. Louis Park High School tennis courts.

Used with written permission from Jared Zirkes

Used with written permission from Jared Zirkes

Junior Jared Zirkes prepares to take a shot April 13 at his tennis scrimmage against Providence Academy. The varsity team has their first match 4 p.m. April 20 at the St. Louis Park High School tennis courts.

Mimi Fhima

With the boys’ spring tennis season starting soon, junior Jared Zirkes anticipates a challenging year because of less players.

Zirkes said he began playing tennis a few years ago, but became more involved when he started playing in tournaments.

“I take a lot of afterschool lessons and do a lot of tournaments through the USTA (United States Tennis Association),” Zirkes said.

Boys’ tennis coach David Breitenbucher said Zirkes benefits the team as he is able to participate in more than one situation.

“Jared is a flexible player. Last year he played some singles for us and some doubles and it is nice to have a player that is able to play multiple positions,” Breitenbucher said.

According to Zirkes, tennis offers a fun and challenging activity to participate in.

“I challenge myself most in tennis; during some of the tournaments I play or maybe just (playing) varsity tennis in general,” Zirkes said.

Zirkes said playing varsity tennis since freshman year helped him get to his current level.

“Freshman year I managed to make low varsity so that was a great starting point. I have just gone up from there,” Zirkes said.

Breitenbucher said Zirkes’ effort in tennis is evident when watching him play, even though he is often quieter than his teammates.

“(Zirkes) kind of keeps to himself but you can tell by watching him that he is competitive. Even though he is not as loud as some of the players or not as outgoing, he is a competitor,” Breitenbucher said.

Even though Zirkes said he enjoys tennis, this year could be harder than in the past because many of last year’s seniors graduated.

“Our number one singles from last year was a senior and he graduated. So everyone is going to have to move up a spot at least,” Zirkes said. “We will be playing harder people from different schools.”

Despite all of the challenges he faces, Zirkes said he enjoys playing on the varsity tennis team and hopes to play in high varsity this year.

“This year hopefully I will play mid-singles,” Zirkes said. “It is a really good experience.”

Breitenbucher said Zirkes’ upcoming success will most likely rely on his off-season training, but he is confident Zirkes will reach a top position.

“He has improved every year, which is huge. A lot of this year will depend upon how much better Jared got in the off-season,” Breitenbucher said. “Looking at our team this year I am thinking he is going to have a top spot, whether it is top doubles or one of the top singles spots.”

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