Latin Academy tennis team ready to take on St. John's Prep in opening state tournament match
If Latin Academy’s players needed any motivation for Tuesday afternoon’s quarterfinal state tournament match against St. John’s Prep, they got it when their coach, Andy Crane, was honored during Saturday night’s Tenacity gala.
“It was great, it was inspiring,” senior Mark Anthony Kenney said.
Crane is the founding program manager for the tennis and youth enrichment program Tenacity. He won the organizations's Founders Award at the Westin Waterfront Hotel on Saturday night.
“Andy and I have had a lot of conversations," Kenney said. "I’ve gotten to know him personally. I think the award that he got tonight was just a testament to what a great person he is, and how devoted he is to youth.”
Originally slated for Monday, the match between No. 4 St. John’s Prep (12-4) and No. 5 Latin Academy 14-5) was moved to 4 p.m. Tuesday at St. John’s Prep in Danvers because of a lousy weather forecast.
Kenney, who will play for Whittier College in Los Angeles in the fall, didn’t complain about drawing St. John’s Prep in their first postseason match this spring.
“It’s definitely a tough draw but you can’t complain about the draw,” he said. “The seeds fall where they do and you have to roll with the punches and get it done. We were going to have to face them at some point so getting them out of the way first round it will be better for us.
“It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be a grind; really it could be potentially the last match of my high school career, a lot of our high school careers, and we’re just going to go out there and give it all we got and get a win.”
His teammate Jimmy Ye still thinks they can take out St. John’s Prep.
“I don’t think there is a team we can’t beat,” he said. “If we are all focused we can beat anybody. I think we can go all the way but we have to be focused and have to be determined. That’s what I’m shooting for, that’s what I’m going to try my hardest to do and hopefully it’s enough.”
Ye, who will play for Holy Cross in the fall, was also moved by Saturday’s tribute to his coach.
“Andy is the man,” he said. “It’s definitely special. Something like this, an event like this, he definitely deserves it, but I think Andy gets appreciation every day.”
Justin A. Rice covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
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