Thompson Showing Confidence
Great article by Kyle Sokeland of the Courier and Press. To visit the original article please click here
*This article was published Sept 1, 2017 on the Courier and Press website
EVANSVILLE – Aaron Thompson has always been a strong tennis player for the Mater Dei Wildcats.
A conference singles title and multiple state honors back that up. But looking at him now, even his coach can tell you that there is something different about him. Whatever he has changed, it seems to be working.
Almost a month into his junior season, Thompson remains undefeated on the court. Not one to toot his own horn, the Mater Dei standout is beginning to reach another level of his game.
“My season is going pretty well,” said Thompson. “I just feel great out there. I’ve had a lot of tough competition, but I feel great confidence-wise.”
Thompson came onto the scene as a freshman, compiling a 26-2 record and winning the individual Southern Indiana Athletic Conference title at No. 1 singles.
As a sophomore, he earned First Team All-State and All-SIAC honors after finishing with a 20-3 mark on the court and was the SIAC runner-up to Memorial’s Brandon Wu.
But now an upperclassman, the junior has developed a better overall game. He will attack the net more to compliment a strong serve and forehand.
“He has gotten to be more of an all-court player than he used to be,” said Mater Dei coach Christine Clements. “He has worked so hard in the offseason and he just continues to get better. We are working on some different things to improve his game, but he is playing well.”
Thompson stayed busy this summer between workouts and tournament play. He trains with the Evansville Tennis Community Association and would spend four or five days a week on the court for several hours.
He also played in several tournaments around the Midwest. His highlight came by making the Central Indiana Tennis Association Team Cup.
“I thought that I played well this summer,” said Thompson. “I made CITA Team Cup, which is where you are paired up with your district and play against other districts in the Midwest.”
“He is able to hang in there during the tough points,” said Clements. “Because of all of his tournament play, he has become a lot tougher mentally.”
No. 27 Memorial prevailed 3-2 in that match to drop Mater Dei’s team record to 4-2. After winning back-to-back sectional championships, the Wildcats returned four experienced players to have a strong core for this year.
However, the rest of the lineup is still learning the ropes.
“It is a bit of a building year for us,” said Clements. “Our experienced players are very strong, so they are helping us a lot. Our younger guys are getting better pretty quickly.”
The focus for Mater Dei and Thompson will soon turn to the SIAC Tournament (September 21-22) and the sectional (September 27-30). However, teams like Castle, Memorial and Reitz have all had good showings thus far.
“I feel great, but there are a lot of tough players out there,” said Thompson. “You never know what can happen.”