States for the Huron River Rats


Huron crowds together after two of their players win 3rd doubles championship.

The familiar, satisfying thwack! of the ball connecting with the strings of a racquet resounds across the court. However, it is muted by the cheers, the shouts and the other games being played on neighboring tennis courts.

The stage is the 2014 statewide high school tennis championships. Here in this arena, warriors compete to take home the title of best in their position on the tennis team. There is an award given out for each spot from first position singles to fourth position doubles and the competition is vicious.

David Gandham sophomore plays first position singles for Huron High School and is considered the best player on the team, as is customary for the first singles player. He did not win states for his position this year, but he did have an interesting outlook on the event.

As Gandham knows, the preparation time before a big match can sometimes be quite stressful and keeping focused during a match even more so, especially when losing.

Gandham has a special method of staying focused during a match.

“I kind of stick to my strategy, there can be a lot of distractions while you’re out there. But if you stay with your game plan then it really keeps you focused on what you have to do right now instead of letting your mind wander,” says Gandham.

Gandam also has a special way to prepare for matches physically to make sure he stays healthy throughout the duration of the match. This includes stretching and drinking plenty of water. If this doesn’t work and he still cramps up during the match, he knows a special trick: mustard. That’s right, when you cramp up on the court, the special trick is drinking mustard.

In terms of winning at states, Gandham won his first match, but unfortunately, lost his second. The team did not win overall, but came in third place. Gandham however, is not unhappy.

“Yeah we did well, we lost a lot of people from last year, but third place is really good for the kind of competition that was out there, and we played really well, so we were pretty happy with a third place finish,” he says.

Gandham has an optimistic view of his time at states, and knows he did his best. He also thinks that he will be better next year. He believes that although they are losing more people this year they can still do well at states next year.

“I have confidence in myself and I think the team does too,” he says. “So it will be a fun season next year.”