District: Middle States Central Pennsylvania (CPD)
Hometown: Hershey/Harrisburg Area
Head Coach: Manolo Nacionales
Practice and hard work gave Full Metal Racquets, an 18 & Under Intermediate Junior Team Tennis (JTT) team, a chance to compete in JTT Section Championships at Mercer County Park in late July. For most players, it was their first time competing in Section Championships.
Head coach Manolo Nacionales has been coaching this team for more than a year, and said he’s seen the players’ hard work pay off.
Middle States had a chance to sit down and talk with Nacionales about the team and tennis in general.
“These players get along well on and off the court,” Nacionales said “The team started off not as good as they are now, but because they love to practice they have significantly become much better.”
The team generally practices at least once a week, but for District and Section Championships amped it up a notch, with Nacionales running a tennis mini-camp for a week.
“I run the practices, so I know what player to put in during the matches,” he said. “They look forward to coming here because, for most of them, it’s their first time competing in sectionals and it’s a great experience for them.”
A unique and diverse team, the Full Metal Racquets are about 50 percent Filipino, and most of the players attend Bishop McDevitt High School together. Players said being so close helped make the experience even better.
Nacionales himself knew what to expect at the championship level, as he’s competed in USTA League Tennis for several years.