Doubles’ Team Members Complement Each Other

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Sometimes, the best combination of athletes that make up a team are when there are more differences than similarities, more chances to develop strengths that are complementary. Such is the case with this Doubles Team in Boys’ Tennis.

James Untalan is a senior who started playing tennis at the behest of his father. Nathan McNaughton, on the other hand, chose the sport “because it’s fun and I like to bond with others.” Untalan has been part of the Armijo team for the last four years while McNaughton has only played the sport for about a year. For Untalan, tennis is his only sport, although McNaughton also plays basketball at Armijo.

“I do want to play tennis in college,” said McNaughton. Untalan feels the same way, “but probably only recreationally,” he said.

While their approaches to the sport are different, they can see the benefits to being teamed together. Untalan said that his partner “lobs very well… We have been teamed since the season and things have been pretty successful.” McNaughton also sees the benefit of his partner’s experience. “James is a hard worker and encourages me on the court,” he said. “It’s his fourth year playing and he provides me with a lot of help.”

For Untalan, his most memorable game was probably his very first ladder match. “It was a new experience and the pressure was on. It wasn’t the biggest competition, but it’s still remarkable,” he said. While that was early in his career, McNaughton is still early in his, and his most memorable game came this season. “When we played Vaca and when I won my match,” he said, “it felt so god to win against MEL champs.”

Their advice to future tennis players is as different as their introduction to the sport. “Be prepared to come home later and especially for the away games,” said Untalan. It’s been even more challenging with his involvement in Robotics. But McNaughton would encourage future players with the positive aspects rather than the challenges. “I’d say, ‘You should go for it because the more involved you are in sports, the better experiences you’ll have,'” he said.

While they spend a lot of time on the courts together, they have very different interests. Untalan is involved in Robotics, National Honor Society and Math Club at Armijo. He’s also musical and plays both piano and guitar. His educational goal is to attend either UCLA or UC San Diego and his career goal is to become a pediatrician. McNaughton, on the other hand, likes to watch thrilling movies at home and hopes to go to college to become an engineer so he can take over his mother’s business.

In closing, McNaughton said, “I’d like to thank my coach Adam Ascher and my first Coach Duncan and all of my friends on the tennis team, especially the upperclassmen.”

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