Jeremy Erickson’s senior season with the Granite City boys’ tennis team got off to a rocky start.
A month ago, Erickson injured his left knee while playing tennis and had to miss the first four weeks of the season.
“I’m not sure how I did it,” Erickson said. “It’s just one of those freak injuries.”
Now that he’s healthy and back in the lineup, Erickson is looking to end his four-year high school tennis career with another strong season. Last year, he earned third-team all-Southwestern Conference singles honors.
“My goal for the rest of the season is to go above .500, which is very doable,” Erickson said. “We’ve got some easier matches coming up.”
Erickson is one of numerous players from last year’s team that finished 5-10. The other returnees include senior Chase Zezoff and juniors Brian Ames, Carter Roustio and Hayden Day.
“This is definitely the best team I played on since my freshman year because in my freshman year, we had a great group of guys,” Erickson said.
The Warriors are 2-5 overall and 1-2 in Southwestern Conference play. They have six regular season matches remaining. Granite City will compete in the conference tournament on May 13-14 at Edwardsville and the sectional tournament on May 20-21 at Triad.
“We have a lot of the same expectations every year and that’s to improve throughout the season and hopefully win as many matches as possible, score well in the Southwestern Conference in points and place well in singles or doubles as individual or team at sectionals to qualify someone for the state tournament,” Granite City coach Raffi Karibian said. “If we do that, that will be great.”
Erickson, who plans to attend Saint Louis University next year, has been playing tennis since he was 6. He joined the Granite City tennis program when he was a freshman.
“I started off playing No. 8 on the JV team,” Erickson said. “The top six is varsity, so I was playing No. 2 JV. Then, I moved up to No. 5 on the varsity squad.”
Erickson started playing No. 1 singles and doubles in his junior year.
“That was a fun year,” Erickson said. “I ended up going .500 last year, which I was really proud of.”
The solid season helped Erickson become the lone Granite City representative on the all-conference boys’ tennis team in 2015.
“When I found out that I got all-conference, I was like, ‘You’re kidding me?’ I wasn’t expecting that at all,” Erickson said.
Erickson said GCHS trainer Tate Merten was a big help to him after injuring his knee a month ago.
“He’s been working out with me pretty much every day, trying to get me back into shape and back into full power as soon as possible,” the Granite City senior said.
Karibian said he has high hopes for Erickson, who is playing No. 1 doubles with Roustio and No. 2 singles.
“His experience should help us throughout the year,” he said. “He and Carter make a nice doubles team. He’s a four-year starter. You expect him to be at practice every day working hard and setting the right example and hopefully, now that’s he’s a senior, he’ll be producing some wins for us in the top of the lineup.”
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