Losing not an option

Competitive spirit makes Bruins’ Meyer a solid team leader
Thursday, April 8, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:37 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Jon-Eric Meyer got into tennis long before he became a freshman at Rock Bridge, but staying undefeated against Hickman is important to him.

Meyer started his career when he was about 8 and went with his dad to play with friends.

When he was 12, he started taking the sport more seriously and began attending training camps.

As a senior, tennis is the only thing Meyer does. He said to be competitive he has to train and play year-round. Meyer said he finds time to lift weights and spend time with his friends.

Meyer said there isn’t an offseason in tennis and he has to take time off when it works for him. He said it is imperative to love the sport.

“I think it helps,” Meyer said. “When you love something and have a passion for it, it adds on to the sport being fun and competitive at the same time.”

The Bruins are 3-0 going into the match against Hickman at 4 p.m. today at Bethel Park.

Hickman hype

Rock Bridge coach Ben Loeb said he is approaching the match in the same way he approaches any other. According to him, the importance of the match is decided by the level of the competition, not who the competitors are.

“Whenever it’s competitive between the two teams it takes on an added importance,” Loeb said. “This year will be very competitive. (Hickman’s) got a very good team.

Even though his coach is looking at the match like any other, Meyer said the team gets a little more pumped up for Hickman.

“It’s a mental thing,” Meyer said. “I guess you could say it’s more of an adrenaline rush when we play them.”

To make sure he’s performing his best, Meyer focuses on calm confidence. He focuses on every point and doesn’t dwell on the past or the future but makes sure his mind is on the moment at hand.

Loeb said Meyer’s tenacity is one of his strengths and helps him excel above competition. Meyer finished sixth in singles in the state competition in 2003 and starts in the No. 1 spot for Rock Bridge.

Loeb said strengths could also turn into a weakness.

“Once in a while, he gets too worked up and that can work against him but he’s gotten better at that over time,” Loeb said.

First among equals

Even though he plays No. 1, Meyer doesn’t like to think of himself as better than his teammates. He said the little things make the biggest difference.

“Everyone on the team is good,” Meyer said. “They all push me. It’s just a few things here and there.

“I have a lot of respect for everybody on my team. Everyone can play and they push me.”

Loeb said he feels Meyer is the right player to lead his team.

“He’s a true No. 1 player,” Loeb said. “I’m glad we still have him again this year.”

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