2017-04-21 / Sports
Glad to have you back
BOYS’ TENNIS /// Moorpark Musketeers Brian Burr quit tennis after last year; now, he’s returned to Moorpark lineup
Moorpark High’s boys’ tennis standout was fed up after the Musketeers went winless in league action last season.
The team’s top singles player quit tennis, a sport he’s loved since he was 8, before his senior year. He even stopped playing weekend tournaments, which he’d enjoyed since he was ranked as one of the top 30 youth players growing up in New York.
“I just wasn’t feeling motivated,” Burr said.
Burr, who moved to California before his freshman year of high school, spent the first half of this school year focusing on school and hitting the gym with his older brother, Michael.
Head coach Brian Friefeld, who is also Burr’s AP psychology teacher, said he didn’t want to force his pupil to return to the court, but he did give him some advice.
“I also told him, ‘If the decision comes to playing or not playing, which are you going to regret more maybe later on?’”
Moorpark teammates Dylan Boss and Collin Mitchell, juniors who team up as the top doubles tandem, tried to sway Burr’s decision.
“We told him we needed him,” Boss said. “He’s a big difference. He makes us a lot better.”
Burr contemplated his future with the Musketeers.
“Coach Friefeld made me realize it’s more about the enjoyment of the game,” the 18-year-old said. “You can get enjoyment through competing. It’s a new concept to me.”
Burr lost all three sets against the Eagles, but it didn’t bother him. He was just glad to be back.
“I just realized I could have a good time my senior year and try to finish off strong,” he said.
Burr only took one set against Camarillo in his second match before claiming five of his next six frames against Royal and Simi Valley. The senior entered the week 6-6 in league play.
Friefeld said Burr, who is 6-foot-3, has the capability to make a run during league finals, which are on May 2 and 3 at Arroyo
“When his serve is on, it’s the best in the county,” the coach said of Burr. “He puts tremendous pressure on his opponents. He’s so aggressive with the way he plays. He’s fun to watch.”
While Burr said he wants to succeed, winning’s not his main goal. Going to battle with his teammates is rewarding enough.
“Outside of high school there’s no team aspect,” he said. “Having that makes it enjoyable and makes me motivated to play. If you’re struggling out there, there are teammates to support you. Our team is great at that.
The winless Musketeers have benefited from having their star in the mix.
“It was a huge difference,” Mitchell said. “With him, we could come close to winning at least. He’s really helped us a lot.”
Moorpark battled Simi Valley on Thursday. A final score was unavailable at press time. The Musketeers wrap up the regular season at Oak Park on April 25 and at home against Royal on April 27.
Burr, the son of Jeannette and Christopher Burr, plans on attending either Long Beach State or Moorpark College after high school.
The team’s lone senior has made an impact upon his return. He’s helping the young players gain confidence on the court.
“I’m trying to be a role model first for some of the up-and-coming players, like Cooper Davis,” Burr said of the talented freshman. “I feel like I can show them what they need to improve on to show them they can get to a certain level.”
CATCH UP WITH THE MUSKETEERS
Moorpark continues to battle in the Coastal Canyon League.
“It’s been rough, but we have some youth,” said Collin Mitchell, a junior doubles player. “I think we’ll be better next year.”
Mitchell teams up with fellow junior Dylan Boss as the Musketeers’ top doubles tandem.
Ashwin Nambiar, a junior captain, plays alongside Steven Juana, a junior, at No. 2 doubles.
Rising star Cooper Davis, a freshman, teams up with fellow rookie Conner Gilpatrick.
Patrick Chun and Haroon Zia, both juniors, battle at singles.
Email Jonathan Andrade at firstname.lastname@example.org.