Augusto is attacking the season
April 27, 2022
As the 2022 tennis season begins, sophomore Anton Augusto has high hopes for his success this year as he plans to make a state-run. Augusto is relatively new to the tennis world, only a second-year player, but does not have any shortage of hard work or dedication. As only a freshman, Augusto made it to the third round of sectionals without any prior experience and now plans to leave a legacy in the sport here at Antioch.
“My goals are simple: win as many matches as possible,” Augusto said. “I feel this year, I really need to make it to state and win the conference.”
Prior to the spring season, Augusto competes in cross country along with basketball. He believes this helps him stay in shape and teaches him a lesson about teamwork which he is looking forward to applying as he wants to play doubles this year. Senior Andy Tindell practices with Augusto and hopes to make a state-run, hopefully alongside him.
“I’ve played in the summer a lot and practiced serving with Anton most of the time,” Tindell said. “I think I’ll end up playing doubles, I’m not sure with who but with whoever it is we’ll be making it to state.”
Seniors have acted as mentors to the program’s youth for as long as people can remember. However, many others who have influenced the underclassmen also have an agenda of their own, to win and prove to others the skill they have gained through all four years at Antioch.
“Sam Sheedy, Nate Knoll, Camilo Carrillo Rodriguez and Will Torres are all seniors who have been in the program for four years, and I anticipate that they will each find some success this season,” coach Jamie D’Andrea said. “Hopefully, we can get some state qualifiers out of them, but our sectional tends to be tough, so we’ll see where the season takes us.”
Augusto is not only an athlete, he is also no doubt a character off the court. Having a high-energy personality and being positive are two traits that encompass Augusto’s character. Senior Sam Sheedy enjoys Augusto’s company and the rest of the team.
“Anton definitely helps me be more positive on and off the court, as he has such a good and vibrant personality making him a blast to be around,” Sheedy said. “Competitively, Anton cares about the sport and definitely brings a mood that helps motivate people to want to do well and succeed throughout the season.”
Sheedy embodies the senior role on the tennis team, being a member since his freshman year and consistently getting better year by year. Seniors are influential to the success of the inexperienced athletes who have a gift for the game; players like Augusto also need strong connections to players who embody this role to learn more than just the game from them, but also to learn how to have fun and enjoy what they do. This goes both ways as the older athletes often rely on the underclassmen for positive spirits and a good laugh.
“I would say that Anton brings a positive and strong energy to practice every day which definitely helps to lift some spirits especially if we’re doing something difficult or if someone may just be having a rough day,” Sheedy said. “I would really hope that I could make it to state, as I got very close last year with Anton and it would definitely help to end my high school career on a high note. Other than that, I just want to keep playing and enjoy the sport with my friends while I can.”
Leadership is more than just communication, especially in a sport where one can play singles against one opponent. Leadership can stem from leading by example along with helping others and is not necessarily limited by age or experience. Younger players often look up to Augusto and other seniors and each hopes to lead the team in a positive direction in the future.
“The boys are motivated a lot by the desire to be stronger or faster, so when they see a player hitting a fast shot or a hard shot successfully, they begin to emulate each other,” D’Andrea said. “I want all the boys to be dedicated to improving.”
The standard of improvement is a critical aspect to enforce in a program. This drives the best players to want to win at the state level and encourages younger athletes to improve their skills and begin winning smaller matches. Augusto has been in both of these positions in the program, not expecting to have such a successful freshman year. Being a leader in the upcoming season will undoubtedly impact the youth of Antioch’s tennis program, teaching these kids essential life lessons and how to be dedicated to getting better every day.
Being dedicated to the craft and working hard in the offseason is a proven way to beat opponents on the tennis court and win past the four years of high school. Augusto hopes to have the opportunity to play for a college and carry all he has learned to the next level.
“I am interested in playing in college. Throughout the summer, I have been contacting college coaches,” Augusto said. “I have worked out more and started lifting weights. In the summer I attended one of the most prestigious tennis camps, Nadal Academy.”
Nadal is a household name in the tennis world; Rafael Nadal has over 1,000 singles matches to go alongside 20 Grand Slam titles. Rafael’s former coach Toni Nadal supplies the methodology this top camp teaches to its attendees, which is only a testament to Augusto’s hard work in the offseason.
Keep a lookout for Augusto and the Antioch Sequoits tennis team as they take on the season and hope to finish in the top half in the Northern Lake County Conference along with sending many Sequpit athletes to the IHSA State Tournament.