At Perkiomen Valley High School, Mr. Pongras is known for being the social studies teacher who brings more than a bit of comedy to his teaching style. However, a lot of people don’t know that he is the boys’ tennis head coach or even that he played tennis in high school at Perkiomen Valley.
“Since getting back into coaching, this is my fourth year as head coach. I had been the assistant for about ten years and the head coach for one year before,” Pongras said.
Pongras identifies the biggest struggle for tennis as the weather. It can often be difficult to play outside due to harsh weather conditions in the months leading up to the tennis season.
“The best way to prepare is just to play as much as possible, whether it is in a league, solo lessons, or getting out whenever the weather permits,” Pongras said.
Pongras says there are always high expectations for the team and an 8-3 record last season emphasizes such expectations.
However, a new challenge arises for the team this upcoming season: having just five returning varsity players.
Last year, junior Carter Young was a top player for the team and plans to return where he left off last season.
“He sees our weaknesses and helps us focus on those skills to better our game. He helps everyone individually and does what’s best for the team while always being positive and having a smile on his face,” Young said about Pongras.
When it comes to the techniques Pongras has instilled in his players, few know them better than senior Caesar Spadea.
“Coach Pongras makes sure that every moment of practice is used to the fullest. He boosts our confidence by being there with all of us 24/7 and letting us know when we do well,” Spadea said.
The upcoming season will surely be one to remember with new challenges that lie ahead. Despite the season not having started yet, Coach Pongras has already set in place one main goal: Beat Spring-Ford!