Hogan Hogs the Spotlight at State

Ben Hogan to Represent Highland at Boy's State Tennis Tournament

Ben+Hogan+fights+off+a+forehand+in+region+match+against+Bonneville.
Ben Hogan fights off a forehand in region match against Bonneville.

Ben Hogan fights off a forehand in region match against Bonneville.

Parker Smith

Parker Smith

Ben Hogan fights off a forehand in region match against Bonneville.

Parker Smith, Sports Editor

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In the midst of the chaos of a rebuilding year for the Highland boy’s tennis team, senior Ben Hogan found a consistency in the best part of his game, being consistent.

Many pieces to the puzzle were missing at the conclusion of last season after the team lost one of the best overall players to come through the program in Brevin Elsholz, along with many key seniors like Michael Shwendimen and Sam Nielsen. Hogan, along with his co-captains Tom Olsen and Sam Budge knew they had huge shoes to fill, and they thought they would be ready for the task.

As the season went on the three captains all played their time at each #1, #2, #3 varsity singles with varying success. Hogan picked up the most wins throughout the season out of the three, which not only showed then, but also at the region tournament this past two days. Starting Thursday at Ogden High school, Hogan went in knowing he stood a chance to qualify himself for state.

“I knew I had a chance, especially since I was playing #2.” Hogan said. “Coming out of it I would have to say I was happy with how I performed and I’m looking forward to what is to come.”

Consistency is what has kept Hogan in the driver’s seat of this team, showing the new players that tennis isn’t all about speed and winning shots, but actually about placement and strategy. Many opponents may be fooled by the slower pace of his returns and groundstrokes, but it is those strokes that tire out his opposition, and eventually let him move in for the kill once they are slowed down. A longer match is what Hogan plans on, and what he hopes for.

“Most people I face want to get points over with as fast as they can,” Hogan said. “but as long as I can get it back over, I know I can work to get the point.”

Hogan showed up to play Thursday earning a win against Bountiful in two sets, which gave him the automatic bid into the state tournament, and a chance to play Friday for better positioning going into the tournament. Hogan battled in a long three-set match against Bonneville, but fell eventually, however he still has earned the fifth ranking in region and a spot at State. Hogan will be the only Ram represented at State.

“I’m excited for State and hope to keep going for as long as I can,” Hogan said. “whatever happens, I know that this last season has been one to remember.”

The State Tournament will be held from May 18-20 at Liberty Park.

 

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