The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

Game on–tennis team is ready to play

The+tennis+team+is+ready+to+dominate+this+season+and+live+up+to+the+standards+other+MC+sports+have+set+this+year.+Pictured+from+left+to+right+are+junior+Marty+Wilmes%2C+senior+Roshan+Kalubi%2C+and+junior+Dale+Twine.%0A
James McCormac
The tennis team is ready to dominate this season and live up to the standards other MC sports have set this year. Pictured from left to right are junior Marty Wilmes, senior Roshan Kalubi, and junior Dale Twine.

Mr. Mark Antonietti, or “Coach Anto” as he is known to the student body, has coached many teams in his thirty-four years at Mount Carmel, but one that may surprise people is the tennis team. Coach Anto has led the tennis team for three years and is building a great program at MC. 

The team will play ten matches against various teams in Chicago along with their Chicago Catholic League tournament and sectional tournament. Some of the most difficult matchups are at the very beginning of the season, with St. Ignatius and DePaul expected to be strong teams. 

“I expect everybody to have fun and improve every day in practice and in matches,” says Coach Anto. “I like being around the kids and I like being around the sport. I like seeing people improve.”

The tennis team is open to all people who want to give it a try regardless of initial skill level. The team is made up of thirteen guys right now, split into varsity and junior varsity, and they practice at Harold Washington Park. 

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“I am always pleasantly surprised by the amount of guys that come out,” says Coach. Anto. “I’m always thrilled and delighted by guys who come out who are like ‘You know, I would like to play tennis.’ Fantastic. Let’s go.”

Tennis is different compared to most other high school sports in that, while still being competitive, it’s a very friendly atmosphere. Most players are new to the sport and are still beginners in skill level. 

“We all help each other out,” Coach Anto says of the league’s coaching vibe. “The Brother Rice coach and myself and the Loyola coaches, we all kind of help each other and even coach each other’s kids up. So it’s pretty good in that way, too. There’s not a lot of infighting between programs, so that really makes it fun, too.”

This year has been a fantastic one for MC’s athletic department with state titles in football and wrestling, a state championship appearance for basketball, a third-place finish for golf, and chess finishing higher in their division than any other Chicago Catholic League team at the state tournament. This sets a standard for other MC teams to meet. 

“If we can finish out the season with a few wins and having a good time, that would be great,” says junior and varsity tennis player Martin Wilmes. “It’s really hard to compete against some of these Catholic League teams like Ignatius who are unreal, but we have got some good players this year, so we will try to make some waves.”

A few of the Caravan have been playing tennis for a long time, but several also joined because they wanted to try something new. 

“I really like Mr. Antonietti’s mission statement, which was to not just improve at tennis but as a person as well,” says junior Dale Twine. “I really liked that and it’s very fun. I have played since I was five and took a break when I was ten. I needed a sport to play sophomore year, so I joined. We are going to improve every time and even if we are playing a very tough opponent, it doesn’t really matter. We are just going to play our best.” 

While the tennis team certainly has good prospects for their upcoming season, it’s also important to consider the bigger picture outside of just playing the sport. 

“I want people who are going to play the game the right way with respect for themselves, the game, the opponent, and I want guys who want to improve,” says Coach Anto. “I just want to see you improve and understand that you can get better at a skill. That’s really what the goal is. It’s not to win or lose matches–it’s to improve and teach yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to.”

 

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About the Contributor
James McCormac, Staff Writer
James McCormac is a junior at Mount Carmel. He lives in Bridgeport and attended Old Saint Mary's Grammar School. James is a member of the Varsity football team, the chess team, boxing, and The Merchant. Outside of school James enjoys doing volunteer work. His hobbies are reading and lifting.