photo of Aaron Bartlett Sports Editor
Aaron Bartlett
Mesa Legend

Mesa Community College Men’s tennis team is home to three international students. “There is three reasons why I think international students come to MCC to play tennis,” said head coach Adam Cohen.  The three reasons include the support of the President and Vice President of the college, international education, and the athletic director.  “I also believe that when international students come to play at this level they teach us a new style of play and they have a eagerness to learn how the sport is played here and also an eagerness in the classroom as well, said Cohen.

For Andy Nguyen, tennis was something that always would have good memories for him.  Growing up as a child I always saw my dad playing tennis and thought that it was a great sport to play to keep myself from getting board.  “At age 11, I won my first tournament here in the states and that’s where it all started for me, said Nguyen.”  “When I was ten-years-old, my family moved to Chandler, Ariz. from Bien Hoa, Vietnam” said Nguyen.  “As I got to be high school age I attend Hamilton High School and continued to play tennis in high school.  While in high school I continued to have the success and figured why don’t I continue to play in College. Playing tennis here at MCC has been such a blessing from the bond we have as a team to the wonderful coaching staff that has pushed us to success. ”  He said.

MCC tennis players at practice
Tennis players Andy Nguyen and Max Wightman practice.
TANIA RITKO / Mesa Legend

“To me everyone on the team pushes each other to be a better player everyday from on the court to off.  I also feel that everyone on the team is working towards the same goal of winning a national championship in Texas.  Right now our team sits at fifth in the nation after winning our game against Portland State in Las Vegas, Nev. on the 23 of March.”

For Max Wightman at age 10 he was watching the U.S. Open and fell in love with the sport.  Born in Arizona Wightman family originated from the South.  “At the age of 17 I almost quit the sport, it was becoming too much for me”, said Wightman.  “Being able to play here at MCC has been like a second chance for me I am so happy that I didn’t walk away from the sport,” he said.  “In the future I hope to being playing tennis at a DI or a DII school with the plans of doing something in business as an end goal,” said Wightman.

“I feel that the team chemistry on this team is one of the best out there,” he said.  “I feel that many of the players would help each other out if one need some help either in school or on the field,” he said.

For Coach Cohen coaching at Mesa has been a blessing, when he was going to school here at MCC he was on the tennis team.  In 2005-06 Coach Cohen played here for the T-Birds and was a region doubles champion in 2005 and in 2006 the team finished #10 in the nation.  For the last eight seasons Cohen has been coach of the Mesa T-Birds Men’s team, he also coaches the Women’s team as well.  “I want to have the most respected Men’s & Women’s Tennis Program in the nation, one which will led by excellence in the classroom which then leads to the court, said Cohen.”

“I want my teams to always come out on top and be best in the nation every year that they play. To me Mesa Tennis should be in the running for the National Title every year especially this season.  So hopefully when Mesa travels to Texas in May they can bring back a National Championship and be excelling in the classroom as well. There is two reason why I have continued to coach tennis which includes getting to watch the competitiveness of both teams and getting to see the players move on after their time here at MCC.” he said.

Mesa Legend Staff

Mesa Legend Staff

These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.
Mesa Legend Staff

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