Three years after East York Collegiate resurrected its tennis program, coach John Ganev thinks he’s molded a team that will be annual contenders.
“It was gone for four years but we brought it back,” Ganev told the Toronto Observer. “Basically the first year you’re just trying to encourage kids to come out, so what you’re doing is finding out who knows how to play tennis and then trying to spread word of mouth and you just build from there.”
Although finding an adequate number of players to fill out an eight-man roster was difficult, Ganev was fortunate to have a shining Grade 9 youngster the same year the program returned in 2007.
Richard Tomsing, now in Grade 12 remains the foundation of Goliaths high school team.
“We’re lucky to have him,” Ganev said with a grin. “He’s been on our team consistently for four years, he’s always done really well for us.”
Tomsing had an impressive 2010-11 campaign going beyond his coach’s expectations after finishing second at OFSAA’s boys singles event.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, consider that it was the first year he was competing solo.
“Last year was the first time we entered him as a single and not in a doubles match,” Ganev said. “He really excelled quickly as a single for us.
“We know Richard will be at OFSAA again. We’re pretty confident he’ll be successful again, he’s just a very high-level player.”
While it is technically Tomsing’s final year, many students choose to stay for a fifth year, giving hope for a coaching staff that has relied largely on its star player.
“He’s in Grade 12, but I find a lot of kids come back for another year,” Ganev explained. “He could potentially be playing next year as well and we would obviously be happy to have him back.”
The East York CI senior will carry the majority of the load, but if the Goliaths hope to once again get out of their four-team playoff in the East, they will need strong performances from every team member.
“Right now we would like to have one of our girls move past cities and get into OFSAA,” the four-year coach said about his most talented girls singles player. “She’s just a really good tennis player in all aspects of the game.
East York will face Danforth C & TI (2:30 p.m. ET) on Wednesday at Moore Park in its first match of the season and hope to pick up where they left off.
“Hopefully we get our feet under us early,” Ganev said about the Goaliaths’ season opener. “But I feel like we’re fully prepared and that we can walk away with a couple points by the end of the day.”