The VillageWalk FireStars tennis team finished 5-0 this past fall 2017 season and remained undefeated in 10U competition. The team won the Junior Team Tennis Championship, which was played at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, after months of hard work and training daily at the Estrada Tennis Academy, located in VillageWalk.
“These players train and compete with and against each other on a daily basis. This helped the team chemistry,” said coach Jeff Gomez in an email interview. This team is all the more remarkable simply because of their age. While the team played against many teams with players all 10 years old, the FireStars team was comprised of 8- and 9-year-old players.
“It was amazing to see these youngsters play at a high level,” Gomez continued.
“I believed our kids learned how to play ‘together’ as one unit. Throughout the season, they grew as tennis players physically and mentally. With each passing week, our kids played with confidence and learned to believe in themselves and in each other.”
The members of the team included #1 racquet Jorge Cely and #2 racquet Isabella Cuervo. Aaron Hernandez, Johnny Velasquez, twins Jordyn and Jaedyn Gomez, and Maria Kuzmanovic rounded out the FireStars. Two members of the team, Jordyn and Jaedyn, were recently selected to be a part of the Official USTA NetGeneration Ambassadors. They were hand picked by the USTA for the newly launched “Net Generation,” which is an initiative designed to motivate more young players to enter the sport.
Most of the players from the FireStars team are now playing in individual tennis tournaments, in singles competition, but there is talk about the team making another run at the Junior Team Tennis Championship.
“Lake Nona was well represented in youth tennis this past season!” said Gomez.