photo by Contributed
The McCallie tennis program is coming off one of the most successful seasons in program history, winning the Division II Large classification state championship last spring in Murfreesboro.
Finishing with a 16-1 overall record, they were the champions of the Chattanooga Rotary tournament, Buckhead Rotary tournament, and MBA Carter Invitational. They also placed fifth in the highest division at the DecoTurf National High School Tournament.
Looking to build off of that success with four starters returning from last year’s team, the Blue Tornado won their only match of the 2020 season 6-1 over Knoxville Webb at home on March 12.
But despite all of the success on the court, head coach Jeff Clark said it is the attitude and love of the game that he will remember most about his seniors.
While many of the seven members of the team’s Class of 2020 have played various roles throughout the years, Clark said their love and passion for tennis and for others can’t be understated.
“These seniors care about each other, and about the younger guys on the team,” said Clark. “Several of them have even been in the program since the sixth grade, so they have invested a significant portion of their lives into it. I came to McCallie when many of them were entering the ninth grade, so it has been a blessing to see how much they have given to others over the years.”
“They work hard on the court and in the weight room every week. They don’t care where they play in the singles or doubles lineup, they just want to win. Most importantly, they have learned to enjoy the process and appreciate the relationships they’ve made.”
“These seniors bring so much joy to our program and to their classmates and teachers. I’ll miss them when they graduate, but I know their legacy of servant leadership, friendship and kindness will carry on with the younger guys for years to come.”
Hogan is a boarding student from Kilkenny, Ireland in his first year at McCallie. He immediately established himself as one of the top singles and doubles players on the team. In the opening match of the season, Hogan scored a straight-set win over his opponent from Webb in the No. 2 singles position.
“Rory has been a fantastic member of our team from day one,” said Clark. “Although he’s only been at McCallie this year, he fit in immediately with the guys on the team. He’s such a hard worker on the tennis court and in the weight room. Rory is a student of the game, and will be a successful player and great teammate at the next level.”
Even though he has been with the program a short time, his favorite experiences have been the spontaneous dinners with teammates after practices.
Outside of tennis, Hogan plays the violin as a member of the Honors Orchestra. He is also an Honor Roll student, has been named to the Headmaster’s List for academics, and is a Resident Advisor in Burns Dormitory. He plans to play college tennis, and will make his decision on where that will be in the coming weeks.
A day student from Chattanooga, Subrumaniam has been a member of the tennis program since the sixth grade. Because of his trick shot ability on the court, his teammates have nicknamed him “The Wizard.”
“Hari has been such a positive light on our team since the ninth grade,” Clark said. “ All the players and coaches like Hari, and like to be around him. He’s humorous, humble, and kind. Hari has distinguished himself in the campus community as a scholar and a student leader; he’s one of a kind.”
His most memorable experience was seeing the team win the state championship last spring, and he said he has enjoyed all of the tennis road trips with teammates throughout the years.
A member of the Science Olympiad, the Cum Laude society, the National Honor Society, and the senior leadership organization Keo Kio, Subrumaniam serves in one of the most respected student roles on campus as president of the Senate, the school’s honor council. He has narrowed his college choices to Emory, Purdue, and Northeastern University.
Young is a day student from Lookout Mountain, Georgia, and has been involved with McCallie tennis since the seventh grade. Like Subrumaniam, his favorite memory was being in Murfreesboro for the state title last year and the countless team dinners with his teammates.
Said Clark: “Jack has been a great leader this year for our younger guys, helping them understand our expectations of hard work, discipline, and team spirit. He’s had some injuries, but they have not stopped him from encouraging the players to give their all on a daily basis.”
Young has been on the Headmaster’s and Faculty Recognition lists, is a member of Keo Kio, and has been known to lead student prayer meetings after morning chapel.
He is also a volunteer firefighter with the Lookout Mountain Georgia Fire Department and a developing pickleball player. Young will attend the University of Georgia next year.
Lebovitz is another day student from Chattanooga who has been a part of the tennis program at McCallie since the sixth grade. As a tenth grader, he received the Most Improved Award from the varsity coaches.
“Abe has been a wonderful senior leader this season, particularly in our weight room workouts,” said Clark. “He has led by example and shown the younger players that there are no shortcuts in the pursuit of greatness. Abe’s sense of humor has also been a gift to our team.”
His favorite experience was watching the Blue Tornado win the 2019 state title, but what he remembers the most was the first week of high school tennis practice in the ninth grade and what he described as “brutal” conditioning that took place on the track.
A member of Keo Kio, the Cum Laude society, and a prolific ping pong player, Lebovitz will attend Tulane University in New Orleans in the fall.
Farnam is a day student from Chattanooga as well, and has been a member of the program since the ninth grade. Last year he earned the Coaches Award, which is given by the varsity coaching staff to a player with a disciplined work ethic and positive attitude.
“Ethan has been a valuable member of our program since the ninth grade,” Clark said. “He leads by example, working hard and doing whatever the team needs to succeed. He is a humble guy, but he’s a talented player, strong student, and a world-class pianist.”
One of Farnam’s favorite memories was winning the JV intrasquad tournament in the 11th grade.
Besides being an accomplished pianist, Farnam is also a songwriter. He is an Honor Roll and Faculty Recognition List student, and will be attending Fordham University.
Trowbridge is a boarding student from Charlotte, North Carolina, and joined the tennis program in the tenth grade. His favorite memory is going to a tournament in Atlanta, and he enjoys the camaraderie with his teammates and the competitive atmosphere.
Said Clark: “William came out for tennis in the tenth grade, but quickly established himself as a solid player on our team. He genuinely enjoys playing the sport of tennis. It has been good to see his leadership skills this year both on and off the court.
Trowbridge is a Michaels-Dickson Scholar, vice president of the Senate, a member of the Cum Laude society, and captain of the varsity climbing team. He will attend either Duke University or the University of North Carolina in the fall.
Clark is a day student from Chattanooga, and also Coach Clark’s son. He has been involved with the tennis program since the sixth grade, and as a junior he transitioned from playing tennis to creating content for the team’s social media accounts such as its Instagram page, @mccallietennis.
“Peter’s talents as a videographer and photographer have been an incredible boost for our program,” said Clark. “Through his art, he’s captured the camaraderie and fighting spirit of our team, which has brought happiness to so many people. I’m so proud of my son.”
His favorite memory was watching the team win a state title, and then producing a well-received highlight video of the championship match, which can be found here on Instagram.. A member of the National Honor Society and a Headmaster’s List and Honor Roll student, Clark plans to study film production at Lipscomb University next year.
The Chattanoogan Senior Spotlight series highlights local prep seniors whose seasons have been put on hold due to the unprecedented situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are associated with a high school spring sports team and would like your seniors featured, please encourage the coach to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, share this article and others like it from this series on social media using #ChattanooganSeniorSpotlight.