Arlington head coach Sean Cunningham is happy to have Sarver's experience, talent and leadership on his young team.
"We're a brand new team. We had 11 freshmen turn out to our program this year and his leadership -- not just what he does on the court, but I think more importantly how he carries himself off the court -- is a big piece for any coach," Cunningham said. "He's probably their biggest cheerleader and he's helped a lot of these freshmen who he can sympathize with because he was kind of in their shoes when he was a freshman."
Herald writer David Krueger talked to Sarver, who is also the Arlington student body president, about being the Eagles No. 1 singles player, who's going to win the Super Bowl and if the Arlington student government is going to shut down anytime soon.
Q: How did you end up playing tennis?
A: I didn't want to do cross country because I did cross country in middle school and I didn't really enjoy running a whole lot.
Q: There's some running in tennis though.
A: Yeah, it's more like quick (bursts). I'm used to that because I played basketball growing up. I was more used to the short, quick game instead of the long-paced game.
Q: What do you like about tennis? Besides not having to run a lot?
A: I like it because every time you play you learn something new about your game. … You learn something new about your swing or your strategy every single time you come out here.
Q: What's the best part about your game? What's your go-to shot?
A: My first serve. That's my weapon. I've clocked it at 121 (miles per hour) and that was a couple months ago.
Q: What's the coolest shot you've ever hit?
A: I was playing and I hit a "tweener," so I was running back and I hit the ball between my legs back to the net. That was probably my favorite point that I've hit.
Q: Did you hurt yourself in the process? I can see that potentially ending badly.
A: Not at that time. But prior to that I've hit myself in the shins and calves and stuff.
Q: At No. 1 singles, is there any pressure being at the top?
A: The hardest part, I think, is when you see the other team warming up and you look over there and you're like, "OK, he's good. And he's good. OK, I'm going to be playing the best one over there." Whoever looks the best in warm-ups is probably who you're playing and you can get a little intimidated.
Q: So do you have to look tough in warm-ups too then?
A: Oh yeah. When they walk by I hit the ball extra hard. Probably pop in a couple first serves so the other team's just like, "Ahhhh!" Intimidate them a bit.
Q: How do you keep busy when you're not playing tennis?
A: I play guitar in our church worship team. When I'm not (playing tennis) I'm arranging practices and stuff. I also play on a Boys and Girls Club basketball team and I just have fun with it instead of taking it really serious.
Q: And in the spring you do track for Arlington right?
A: Yeah. Oh yeah. I do high jump, pole vault and discus. Again, not really the long-running type.
Q: As if you're not busy enough, I heard you're involved in student government here too.
A: Yeah I'm the ASB (associated student body) president of the school. I run the leadership class and make posters and announce things at lunch.
Q: Did you make any big campaign promises that you have to live up to?
A: No, but I did rap in my speech, so I kind of have to keep up the G-money – no I'm just kidding.
Q: You have to give the people what they want right?
A: Yeah, exactly!
Q: Is the Arlington High School government in danger of being shut down too?
A: No. We're functioning, we're paying our bills. We're good.
Q: What other sports do you like to watch or play?
A: I really like to watch badminton. Like, Olympic badminton. And I like watching college basketball. I'm not big into football, but I enjoy watching the Super Bowl.
Q: Who's going to win the Super Bowl this year? There is a right answer to this question.
A: (San Francisco) 49ers.
Q: That's not it.
A: No. It's going to be the Seahawks. I'm feeling it.
Q: Do you want to join the Olympic badminton team?
A: Definitely. That'd be a dream come true. Just cranking that birdie, or whatever that thing is.
Q: What are your goals for senior year?
A: I want to make it to state in tennis. I think I've got a pretty good shot. I also, I want the student section (at Arlington sporting events) to carry on the big cheering. I'm kind of in charge of organizing the student section, and we're getting lots of people out to soccer games and we're getting a lot of people to come out to the non-big sports. I want that to continue.
David Krueger, Herald Writer
*Correction, Oct. 8, 2013: The story originally included the incorrect number of years.
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