In his final season with the boys varsity tennis team, senior Captain Max-William Kanz has been a force to be reckoned with.
Kanz has played tennis since he was 10 years old, and he has been playing at KO since he came in sixth grade, when he joined the Middle School’s A tennis team. In seventh grade, he began practicing with the boys varsity tennis team. His varsity tennis career really took off in eighth grade, however, when he began playing in matches with the team.
In this time, Kanz has grown as a player and stepped into new leadership roles as well. He was named co-captain during the 2021 season, a remarkable feat considering he was sidelined for the season; Kanz experienced a lack of blood flow to a bone in his wrist that rendered him unable to play for several months.
Despite this, Kanz continued to support the team in any way he could. “Last year, he was coming to optional hitting sessions over spring vacation, and he couldn’t play,” Head Coach Andy Krugman said, “so he was coming in and literally helping out and picking up balls, playing with his left hand, being fully immersed in the team, and was present at every match. He basically became our manager. ”
Coach Krugman has known Kanz since sixth grade when he coached him on the Middle School A soccer and tennis teams.
Kanz is described to be as “reliable as the day is long” by Coach Krugman. “He works the hardest of anyone in practice and he’s totally committed to the team, he’s unselfish, and he leads by example,” he said.
This hard work and commitment have paid off this season, seeing as Kanz is undefeated in all of his regular-season matches. His only singles match defeat, playing in the #1 spot, came in the KO Invitational Tennis Tournament (KITT), in the semifinals; the player Kanz lost to, went on to win the entire tournament.
In terms of doubles matches, Kanz and his teammate, senior Teddy Keegan, have similarly gone undefeated throughout the season, winning the KITTs in the doubles tournament. Kanz and Keegan lost their first set in the final match 6-0, but came back and won the second set, as well as the third, deciding set to clinch the victory.
Kanz attributes his success to one factor. “I consider my biggest strength to be my mental toughness and being able to get through matches,” he said.
Coach Krugman touched on this aspect of Kanz’s game as well. “He’s gotten physically stronger, he’s mentally very tough, and he’s very competitive,” he said.
While this is Kanz’s last season at KO, he is set to continue his tennis career at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. The team will be sad to see him go, but are grateful for the ways in which he has helped shape the group atmosphere and pushed everyone to be better players and good teammates.
As Coach Krugman remarks, “You always know what you are going to get from Max-William.”