As each new season begins there is always anticipation of what might be. Will high standards be maintained? Can the U13 team become City Champions? What will happen now that the older, more experienced players, have moved on? This was particularly important this year as a completely new team needed to be assembled. How would the next group of First Years shape up? Raw talent is important but determination to improve and commitment to high standards, more so.
In the end, a team comprised exclusively of U12 players, narrowly lost the Southampton Schools’ U13 League, coming second to Cantell. The match with Cantell was very tight with KES unfortunately going down 5-3 for the second year in a row after losing one particularly crucial game 16-14. Other matches were much more one-sided as the team comprising Charlie Aspinall, Freddie Collins, George Goodridge, Nathaniel Saer and Raaghav Sharma were often totally dominant.
In the annual Inter-Form competition, there were two stand-out teams - 1/1 and 1/2. With some careful seeding, these two met in the final - Raaghav, Charlie and Nathaniel taking on George, Freddie and Ben Hughes. After two matches it was all-square with everything depending on the outcome of the number one pairing - the best of five games between Raaghav and George. Eventually Raaghav prevailed 3-2, winning the final game 12-10 in a match that will long live in the memory. Congratulations to 1/2 in a final which could easily have gone the other way.
In the official First Year individual competition, Charlie beat Raaghav to take the boys’ title, while Avantika Umranikar defeated Defne Nebol in the girls’ final with Charlie and Avantika triumphing in the Mixed Doubles.
Congratulations to everyone who took part and hopefully next year will be just as exciting.