Tennis Courts Update


Jared Arenas, Quality Control & Head Editor

The Centennial High School Tennis Teams have undergone a lot within the past couple of years. Similar to a lot of groups and organizations here at CHS, they were under obligation to overcome the obstacles of COVID if it meant that they could thrive and operate as a unified team. This year however, they were met with a new hurdle involving the tennis courts themselves. The problem has been brewing since last school year, when the courts were ordered to be refurbished for the new year.

“So right now our tennis courts were supposed to be built before our season started this year, but due to some construction problems they’re not able to get them done right now,” said Henry Le, one of the captains for the males’ tennis team. “The courts are usable, but are not ideal for playing tennis.”

Initially, courts to use for both the boys and girls team were arranged to be fixed before the start of the Spring 2022 season. After the original date of the renovations’ completion were delayed, the tennis teams were promised again that they would be fixed by July, before the end of summer, and the middle of October. With each promise proving to be unfulfilling, both teams were met with disappointment. Currently, they’re being told to wait until the end of the 2021-2022 school year for the courts to be finished to their full potential.

“We’ve been told a bunch of promises, but they’re all empty promises,” says Le.

Vivian Ngo, the girls tennis adviser, also put her two cents into the current set of circumstances, by saying that she would’ve hoped it would’ve been solved by now. “Apparently there are a lot of stipulations with weather and other things that we cannot control. So hopefully before the end of the season, we can have one home match that we can play at the school,” said Ngo.

As a solution, the teams have resorted to playing on different locations detached from Centennial. The teams were able to work out a deal with Cascade Athletic Club for morning practices, although their time on the site is limited. For an hour each session, they’re able to use it to their full advantage, but spend thirty minutes of that time warming up and working on drills, making their time even more restricted. As for their home game matches, they managed to use Mount Hood Community College’s courts, but this development means either team wouldn’t be able to start matches until later on in the year.

“It’s stupid,” said Ngo. “We’re all very frustrated. It’s pretty maddening because we were promised courts, and even last year with the cracks and everything, the way that they were ‘fixed’ so that they were playable honestly just made them bigger safety risks and just made them look worse.”

The main effect that the courts would have on the tennis teams during actual matches are the ball’s rebounds, and the way it maneuvers around the field of play during the teammates’ mobile activity. Although this may seem minuscule to outsiders who have no or little to no knowledge of the game, it’s a massive factor that changes the way players are expected to engage in the sport. With a group consisting of mostly newer players, it’s a harsh fact that the overall team is forced to accept. Regardless of the “unidealistic situation”, they’ll still need to find a workaround to practice on the home courts.

“There’s just been a lot of different situations that are just frustrating,” said Ngo. “It’s been kinda stressful because our season starts next week and we have no courts.”

Ngo added on by voicing her frustrations on being a coach for the girls team. Although she plays a vital role in making sure the players are able to engage and participate in the sport, Ngo has asserted that she’s been left out of key conversations regarding the developments and the financial aspect on the court. “It’s hard to feel valued as a head coach.”

“I think that people who are directly impacted in this situation- so all the different programs; PE, football, softball, a lot of those different individuals as well as the kids and coaches should’ve been involved. Even Cross Country has had to change their course because of the shift of the courts and everything. And not all of these different elements were taken into account. And a lot of miscommunication occurred because there was a lack of communication. So even the fact that there were only two gates, the two tennis coaches- we- didn’t even know that that was gonna happen until it happened and it was just like, ‘Oh it’s too late,’ but there’s a lot of risk factors safety-wise on top of it. So one of the biggest things is communicating with the people who are directly affected- the people who are there every single day using the areas.

The unconventional circumstances also means that certain players will have trouble with attendance in showing up to practices. Certain players don’t have as easy access to transportation as other players do, making it yet another problem that has stemmed from the tennis courts being inaccessible. In order to meet the adequate standard that the sport asks of them, players are required to wake up twice a week for an hour of practice, proving it to be harder for them to work during the school day and stay focused.

In spite of all the troubles and frustrations both teams have had to endure this year, Le stated that it’s important to have patience with the school and the administration. Despite the strenuous preceding factors to the new season, he affirmed that they’re all doing their best to take the lead and do everything they can off the courts so that they’re ready to play on the courts once their first official match begins.

Le ended off by saying that he looked forward to what the season has to offer, and rebuilding the bond within the teammates. With a team full of mostly new players, there’s a lot of room for growth. “A lot of the seniors are gonna be leaving, so I’m just looking forward to building the sophomore and freshman team this year.”