Lucas Terveer wondered if he made the right decision to go out for tennis his senior year.
In his first match of the season, the newcomer to the sport was caught off guard, and an embarrassing moment followed.
“I was in between a forehand and backhand and didn’t know what to do,” Terveer said. “I ended up hitting myself in the face with my racquet and giving myself a bloody lip. I was kind of questioning if tennis was the right thing for me at that point.”
That wasn’t the only growing pain Terveer had in his humble beginnings.
“The scoring was the biggest thing for me,” he said. “It was so confusing, when to switch and all that.”
Terveer was one of several Newman seniors who had not played tennis but opted to play the sport to end their high school athletic careers. The group includes Brian Bahrs, Luke LeMay, Nic Miller and Ryan Schaab.
Miller and Terveer have fared so well they have become the Comets’ No. 1 doubles team.
“I didn’t think we’d be any good,” said Miller, who had not played since fifth grade. “We started on the JV and, in about 2 1/2 weeks, we went up to No. 1.”
What started off as a bit of a goof for Miller became much more.
“Once we started getting good, I started to take it serious,” he said. “We were all going to do it just for fun, but we’re way too competitive to do that. I definitely wish I would have played all 4 years.”
Miller and Terveer have been multi-sport athletes, both playing basketball and football.
“I rely on my athletic ability,” Miller said. “I play at the net a lot, but I’m not that good on ground strokes.”
“Probably our biggest advantage is we’re athletic,” Terveer said. “It gives us a chance to win against kids that are more fundamentally sound.”
Both Miller and Terveer played baseball their freshman and sophomore years. Miller did not go out for a spring sport as a junior, and Terveer did not have a choice. After suffering a broken leg in basketball, he could not participate in a spring sport last year.
Local teams: Dixon, Newman, Sterling
Other teams: Alleman, Galesburg, Geneseo, Moline, Princeton, Rock Island, United Township
State qualifying: Top four finishers in both singles and doubles