"The 2021 tennis team was composed of a most remarkable group of young individuals who bonded together to achieve one of the most successful seasons in the history of the school. One of the key contributors to this success was a young man who has played at the no.1 position for the last 3 years. Mark and I made our first appearances on the team together 4 years ago, he as a budding freshman, and me as head coach. I've had the pleasure of watching him grow and mature with each passing year, up to taking on exemplary leadership of the team this year as a senior. Looking back, even as a young freshman, Mark was already challenging the #1 player, a Senior. Mark quickly acquired a number of fans on the team, guys who would go on to cheer him on loudly and proudly for the next few years. As time passed, he began to truly understand the rewards of playing for a team and having the support of his peers. He has led the team in several exciting matches at line 1 singles, many times taking highly ranked players through unbelievable battles. Fast forward four years later, and Mark is now leading the team with enthusiasm and conviction. He really embraces the camaraderie of the team and takes it upon himself to mentor the younger guys on how to be better team players. He also steps up to help and cheer on anyone who is struggling and wants everyone to succeed and be the best they can be. This season, Mark held a personal 4-3 record at #1 singles line, and was a key player in ensuring the success of the team. In a very fitting ending to this amazing season and to his high school career, Mark was the one to score the final point to secure the 2021 SPC win for his team. As soon as he hit the last winning shot of the match, his first reaction was to run to all of his teammates to celebrate and take in the moment together. It was a special event to witness. Its been a privilege watching Mark grow into the player he is today, and more importantly, into a strong and caring leader. I wish him the best of luck on his college tennis career at Sewanee and look forward to hearing great news about his achievements there.
"The tennis team had a remarkably strong season with every single member of the team contributing to the success. It was difficult to decide who should receive the MVP award because there are so many outstanding guys on the team. However, this player indisputably needs to be noticed and rewarded for both his accomplishments on the court and for the way he supports his teammates every step of the way. Patrick Flanagan, as a sophomore, has already left a huge imprint on the team, and has achieved an unheard-of winning record playing at the #3 singles position. This season, Patrick gained the first winning point for the team 6 out of the 7 times he played. On the 7th and final match Patrick was still the second guy to come off the court, having won 6-0, 6-0. In fact, Patrick won most of his matches 6-0, 6-0 and only dropped 2 games the entire season, which puts him at a winning percentage of 96.7%, one that is most likely a school record and will definitely be difficult to match in the future. I think that part of Patrick's motivation to step off the court so quickly was so he could go cheer on his teammates. He certainly didn't waste any time from the moment he came off the court to go find the player struggling the most, stand by the fence, and support and counsel him along the way. Patrick is also a witty guy with a great sense of humor, so he always found a way to make his coaches and teammates laugh whether at practice or before or even during a tense match. Patrick is one of the strongest and most capable athletes on the team, but remains humble, and is the ultimate team player. He will just as happily practice with the weakest player around as he will challenge the strongest player. He is simply content to be out there with his peers and playing for something greater than himself. He is a lot of fun to watch on the court as he always gives it everything he's got both in practice and in matches. And if the match isn't challenging enough, he uses it to work on his weaknesses and get creative on the court. Patrick has already made a big impact on St Mark's tennis and I'm sure he will continue to over the next two seasons. He has so much potential, I can't wait to see how much improvement he shows by next spring, and all the new challenges he will take on. I know he will be leading the team in the future and taking it to new heights."
–Coach Sana Cortas