The Forest Hills Eastern Varsity Boys tennis team flew by with extravagant successes this fall. Sweeping all of their conference matches 8-0, winning both the conference and regional titles, and placing top 8 in Michigan is no easy feat. However, out of the 16 tennis players chosen to represent Eastern boy’s tennis, four are set aside as “alternates.” While the rest of the players parade onto the courts before each match, their minds focused on only their games, the alternates parade onto the bleachers ready to assist and support the other players. If one of them is injured or unable to play, the alternates jump in automatically to fill in their spot. One of these prestigious alternates is Pranav Mudhas (‘24).
Being a player who doesn’t get to play often is an underappreciated position. As someone the team counts on, the alternate spot on the tennis team deserves some recognition. Without hesitation, Pranav brought water, assistance, support, and consistent cheering to the starting players throughout the season.
Reminiscing upon the 2021 tennis season, Pranav claimed that the best part was “meeting new people,” referencing the bonds that became deeper within the teammates. Pranav states that “even though I didn’t play much, I still felt like a key part of the team. I really enjoyed seeing my tennis brothers win.”
To Pranav, varsity tennis was more than just a sport he was part of after school every day. It enhanced his high school journey. One piece of advice he would give to his younger self is that, although doing sports and clubs can seem daunting, “it’s important to try new things—you never know where you’ll find your people.” Luckily, Pranav overcame this quickly and found his people on the tennis team.
“I’m pretty outgoing, I talk to people, I meet them…. but I wasn’t like that before. I think that changed this year; last year I was kind of shy,” Pranav explained. Although last year Pranav didn’t make the varsity tennis team, his joining of it during his sophomore year opened gateways both as a student and as a young adult. Not just within clubs, but in a social aspect as well. Last year, Pranav “wanted to stay with his friends, but this year I did tennis and saw how fun it was to do other things.” Due to tennis, Pranav discovered a newfound love to participate. He began to expand his circle, befriending new acquaintances and broadening both his academic and social scopes. Through his position as an alternate on the tennis team, clubs, activities, and extracurricular adventures began to “blossom as opportunities” to grow his intellect, meet more people, and gain treasurable experiences. “Truly,” Pranav remarks about tennis, “it was an amazing experience.”