Losing teams is sad

We were sad to read in our sister paper, The Telegraph, the news that Milford High School’s boys tennis team canceled its season because it couldn’t field enough players.

As Tom King reported, this is the second straight year that the Spartans had difficulty getting enough kids onto the court, although they did manage to play last year but had to default some matches.

According to Milford Athletics Director Marc Maurais, only three boys were interested in playing. Thus, it only made sense to cancel the season.

And as King reported, Milford was the second local school to cancel a boys tennis season. Wilton-Lyndeborough did it last year and will not field a squad for 2019.

This is sad because tennis is one of the few sports really open to kids of all sizes. You don’t have to be a behemoth to play tennis, you don’t have to spend hours with free weights and while it helps to be tall, you can still play if you aren’t.

Tennis requires speed and coordination, the ability to react quickly. While a strong serve certainly helps, getting the ball into play and keeping it in play are equally important. Lots of kids who couldn’t make the football or basketball teams could do that, allowing them to represent their schools, too.

But if they don’t want to play, they don’t want to play. We’re a bit puzzled as to why, though. Tennis still seems to be a popular sport. Over at Hampshire Hills Athletic Club in Milford, one can see lots of teenagers schlepping around their tennis rackets, so why not for the school team?

Perhaps it has something to do with declining enrollments or perhaps more families are sending their kids to tennis-centric high schools. We don’t know.

All we do know is losing Milford’s and Wilton-Lyndeborough’s teams is sad.

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