BOYS TENNIS COACH OF THE YEAR
St. John’s Prep
St. John’s Prep tennis coach Mark Metropolis knows he’s blessed with the revolving door of talent his team has had for the past two and a half decades.
But Metropolis also knows the success of the Eagles team depends on taking a group of players used to performing for their own success and getting them to play for each other. Metropolis’ ability to unite his boys under Eagle pride has led the team to 23 Catholic Conference titles in 24 seasons after sharing the crown with eventual state champions BC High this season.
“They all know how to hit ball when they come here. Then it’s just strategy and learning to play as a team. When kids play USTA’s they all play for themselves. It’s a different story when you bring them together on a team,” said the 54-year-old Peabody High electronics teacher.
Strength of schedule is another important factor in SJP’s success. Once again Metropolis scheduled regular season bouts with the top teams in the area like Lexington or Wellesley so come playoff time, the Eagles are ready for the do-or-die atmosphere..
This year, St. John’s Prep defeated Westford Academy to capture the Division 1 North title before falling to in the state semifinals to BC High.
“I think its pride. When the kids come into the season we’re not looking to just win the conference, we’re looking at the final results,” said Metropolis. “Our goal every year is to contend for the state title and we pretty much do every year. I’m fortunate to have very good players but we’re going up against very good teams.”