Berg to continue to build program
Whitehall head boys' tennis coach Austin Berg can compare his program to the empire of ancient Rome.
He knows it won't be built in a day or likely even this year, but he is confident it is on its way.
The second-year head coach didn't win a match last season, but it certainly wasn't a discouragement. Instead, Berg continued to plug away with any method he could find to enhance the program.
This season, the Zephyrs have a victory over Allen through their first six matches (1-5) and have also instilled a sense of self-belonging that will continue to shape their future.
"We have some players back from last year and we also have six freshmen," said Berg. "Having the freshmen was a very positive sign. It was also huge for us to get a win in the early part of the season.
"Our kids have certainly gained confidence. We're winning games, but we're not winning enough matches. It's simply not 6-0, 6-0 anymore. We have been competitive."
Sophomore Izzy Ahmed is the team's number one singles player this spring as he has earned the right with his improved play. Ahmed is also on the number three doubles' team.
"Izzy (Ahmed) really put everything together last season," said Berg. "He has worked hard and is having a good year."
Fellow sophomore Reno Honzo-Vasso recently has been elevated to singles' status and he also plays doubles for the Zephyrs.
Freshman Alex Rohn has had an immediate impact with the Zephyrs as he is playing number two singles and also has been a key recruiter for the team.
"Alex (Rohn) has been very aggressive and has been tackled any challenge he has faced," said Berg. "He (Rohn) has also been responsible for helping bring the other five freshmen into the program. He will certainly do whatever he can to help the program."
Fellow freshman Dan Herrara is also drawing some attention at the number three singles spot.
"Our freshmen have been doing well," noted Berg. "I'm very happy they are there and hope they will stay through the four years. All of them have been improving their game in many ways.
"We also have some of our other players taking it upon themselves to play as much as they can. We have a better approach and attitude this season and those elements have made us better. We just need to continue to build upon what we have."
And they shouldn't try to build it overnight.