Winning the Inter-Ac tennis title has been James Harrington’s goal since freshman year.
With most of the sports spotlight in the spring taken by the lacrosse and baseball teams, tennis often finds itself on the bottom of the totem pole in terms of recognition.
But James Harrington saw to the end of that after finishing 2016 with an unprecedented 10-0 record in Inter-Ac play, taking home the Inter-Ac title in the process.
“Winning the Inter-Ac has been a goal of mine ever since I got to Malvern,” Harrington said. “The assistant coach, Dave DiLucia, was the last and only Malvern player to do it, so I gained motivation from him.”
Harrington credited his success this year to added work before matches and simply taking it one match at a time.
“I began doing longer warm-ups before matches, like jumping rope and doing different forms of stretching.” he said. “My coach always told me to take it one step at a time. I never focused on the big picture, I always focused on the task at hand, which was winning one match at a time.”
Harrington’s head coach Anthony DeCecco realizes that James’ production will be missed, but is confident that the future of Malvern tennis is very bright.
“James has a younger brother coming up, and there are two kids in the middle school so the future is bright,” he said.
Although DeCecco doesn’t think Malvern is a tennis powerhouse just yet, he does believe that the potential is there and that Malvern tennis is well on its way to becoming a year round sport.
Although he was dominant in almost every match this season, Harrington was not confident in the shot that clinched his undefeated season and championship.
“It’s funny, my last shot was actually a fairly weak shot because I had to scramble to get to it,” Harrington said. “However, when my opponent’s ball hit the net, I just remember hearing a loud scream from the crowd and everything hit me all at once. My parents were hugging each other, my teammates were yelling my name. It’s a feeling one can never forget.”