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The Paw Print

The Paw Print

The Paw Print

Athlete of the Issue: Luke Haenisch

Melody Huang

Walking up to the court with his racket and water bottle in hand, senior Luke Haenisch stares down his competition. Already crafting a strategy in his mind, Haenisch fist-bumps his doubles partner, senior Hadi Ammar, with a sly look on his face. Walking into the match a few steps ahead of his opponents mentally, Haenisch spins the racket in his hand and flashes a smile, ready to bring his best to the court and give it his all.

Moments like these speak to Haenisch’s strategy of outsmarting his opponents out on the court, making him a crucial member of Poly’s boys varsity tennis team.

Senior teammate Nathan Taing commented, “Luke is one of the hardest working people on the team. He always strives to keep everyone’s energy high and my four years on the team wouldn’t be the same without him.”

Starting at age ten and gaining over eight years of tennis experience, Haenisch grew his love for the game both through Poly’s tennis program and the San Marino Tennis Center. The strategic aspect of the sport gives Haenisch a tactical advantage over his opponents, allowing him to pick apart their techniques and patterns to find their weaknesses.

Haenisch has been a four-year varsity tennis player, and in his senior season at Poly, Haenisch plays competitive doubles with senior teammate Hadi Ammar. On April 13, the duo went 6-1, 6-0, 6-0 against Chadwick, contributing to a narrowly-clinched 10-8 win for the Panthers.

When asked about his thoughts on Haenisch, Ammar said, “He’s a doubles legend. He’s a vocal leader. He’s a morale-builder. He’s a great player to play with and call my teammate.”

Aside from the obvious talent and hard work that Haenisch brings to the table, his energy and enthusiasm separate him from his peers. In a tiring, intense sport like tennis, maintaining high spirits and motivation doesn’t come naturally for most. However, Haenisch serves as the glue for the rest of the team, never failing to encourage his teammates to stick through any adversity they might face.

Senior teammate Nick Beiner added, “He is really funny and is someone that brings the team together but can also lock in when he is needed.”

Haenisch has played an integral role in the success of this year’s team. With a record of 8-3, Haenisch looks to close out his high school tennis career strong as the boys near the end of the season.

A brilliant combination of natural talent, a creative mind, and a loud laugh, Haenisch serves as a true embodiment of what it means to be an athlete at Poly. His radiant energy and infectious smile spread excitement through his team every time he steps on the court. Coach Timothy Pawley knows he can rely on his trusty Haenisch and Ammar one-two punch to lead the Panthers to victory.

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About the Contributor
Luke Kim
Luke Kim, Sports Editor
Grade: 12 Years on Staff: 3 Fun Fact: My personal 32 oz water bottle chugging record is 8.5 seconds. Favorite Movie: Top Gun: Maverick
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