In a typical Coronado High School tennis season, Islander women’s Coach Rob Moore and Islander men’s Coach Mackenzie White would find themselves in many different situations. But in the year 2020, all situations are different and none are ever typical.
Due to the concerns of Covid-19, CIF (the California Interscholastic Federation) made the decision to combine the men’s and women’s tennis teams for the 2021 spring season. It will be the first co-ed tennis season in the history of Coronado High School. And while it presents new opportunities and excitement, the new format will also present challenges.
“When I first heard the news, I was excited. I think that this season will be a great opportunity for both teams, as both teams will have the opportunity to get coaching from both Coach Moore and me. The more eyes the players have on them, the more we can help develop them into better tennis players,” said Coach White.
Coach Moore shared just how important keeping in contact with Coach White and their assistant coaches will be. “We’re going to be in constant contact this season. As it is right now, I’m on the phone with my assistant coach Dennis Navarro for two to three hours a day discussing practices and plans for this season. I think me and Mackenzie will have good rapport. Our ability to communicate will be key to this season.”
Perhaps the most anticipated adjustment of the 2021 tennis season will be the implementation of mixed doubles. And while it’s an exciting opportunity for the players, it adds another layer of difficulty for both Coach Moore and Coach White.
“The mixed doubles will be huge this year, as we’re going to have five mixed doubles lines. We’re going to have to do a good job of figuring out what players have good chemistry together. In my mind, I want players to complement each other’s playing style and also enjoy playing with each other,” said Moore.
Along with the new format for the season, CIF southern has also implemented several new rules. In seasons prior, teams had won based off total matches won, but under the 2021 rules, team wins will be decided off total games. Also, doubles players can be switched out mid-match, meaning coaches are now able to substitute one if not both players from a match if they think it necessary. The rule is being added in an effort to help more players have court time on match day.
Even with all the new measures to make the season run smoothly, Coach Moore and Coach White will have challenges.
“There is still some uncertainty right now. Things like scheduling will be different, as we’re not totally sure who we can and cannot play. There are also day to day things we’ll have to manage like scheduling practices, game day precautions, and even things like game day transportation,” said White.
When the 2021 season rolls around, it seems that it and the team’s success will heavily hinge on the shoulders of Coaches Moore and White. But the two have made it very clear they’re confident they can play at a high level all season; “We’re both good coaches, and we know that with communication this team is going to have a very strong season,” said White.
Coach Moore echoed this saying, “We want our players to grow and continue to progress and improve, and I’m confident that Coach White and I are going to make that happen.”