Schwartz heads to Hopkins
Published 4:46 pm, Monday, August 30, 2010
Jeremy Schwartz made his presence felt on the tennis courts for Weston. A captain before graduating in June, he was a four-time All-SWC selection and an All-Stater senior year in leading Weston to four Class S and three SWC titles while playing mostly at second singles his first three years and first singles as a senior. Freshman year, he split time between third singles and second singles, which isn't an easy task because of the formidable lineup he joined.
"It's definitely an honor because Weston's tennis teams have been dominant," Schwartz said. "It definitely felt good to step in and beat out kids two to three years older than me. I felt no pressure because the USTA [United States Tennis Association] prepared me for big matches."
Senior year, he was the Class S runnerup. Schwartz lost to the defending champion, lefty Dante Terenzio of Trinity Catholic, who will be playing for the University of Louisville next year, in the Class S singles finals.
"I had a good draw and played well before meeting Dante in the finals and unfortunately, it was too much for me," Schwartz said. "It was a good season."
Playing in the offseason and taking lessons also helped him elevate his game. For the past three years, Schwartz played under the tutelage of his personal coach, Dan Scheuler at New Canaan Racquet Club. Scheuler had him work on looping shots down the line and angle shots and always preached to Schwartz to not to hit down the middle. His coach also taught many different combinations and to hit off the court.
"It made a huge difference," Schwartz said. "It opened up a whole new different game for me."
Scheuler, in turn, is impressed with his player.
"Jeremy has a tremendous work ethic and he's one of my best students in the last couple of years," Scheuler said. "He's a persistent and dedicated player. I've seen him grow into a mature tennis player and he's gotten much better in the last couple of years."
In choosing between the baseline and the net, Schwartz prefers the former because of his steady game and solid ground strokes.
"I'm quick around the baseline and I'm able to get too more shots from there," he said. "I'm also aggressive and I'm able to step in and get too shorter shots. I try to hit a lot of shots over the net with a lot of topspin and I try to get my opponent to hit a shorter ball. I then try to step in and hit the big shot. Dan has helped me with this part of my game and I use a ball machine to help. I hit a lot of balls and I keep practicing."
Although Schwartz prefers the baseline, he's proficient at the net as well and slammed home many overhead forehand shots for winners.
"You have to keep moving in," he said. "I don't play too much there but when I do, I keep moving in and I don't have a big backswing with the volleys," he said.
Having a good serve is important in tennis because the server is in position to control play. If someone always holds serve, than all he'd need is one service break to win the match. He is masterful at serving the ball and had many aces. The fact his opponents rarely break his serve gives him a profound advantage.
"Dan has helped me with my serve," Schwartz said. "It all starts with the toss. I toss it up into the court and I bring my body forward. I swing up and out with my serve and I try to come up to the ball and pronate [turning the wrists over] with my racket."
Life on the courts began for him at age 8. He started playing frequently at overnight camp. His father Larry also played, which influenced him in gravitating towards tennis as well.
At age 12 and 13, Schwartz was ranked seventh in his age group for USTA-New England.
"USTA has definitely helped me a lot," he said. "It gave me match experience and it helped me handle tough situations on the court."
Growing up, Schwartz also played baseball, soccer and hockey. He also skied but when he got to eighth grade, he gave up the other sports to focus solely on tennis. Giving up baseball, where he played at second base and shortstop, was the toughest sport to stop playing.
Leadership is another strength of his as he served the Trojans as their captain this year. He led mostly by example by working hard and showing his dedication to the team.
"It was a fun experience leading the team this year," Schwartz said.
Academically, he took AP and honors courses and was in the top 20 in his class. Math is his favorite subject.
"I just managed my time well," Schwartz said. "After playing in a match or after a practice, I did my homework."
Next year, he'll be playing tennis for Johns Hopkins University while majoring in math. He's on the premed track and hopes to become a doctor but for now, his focus is raising his tennis game to the next level.
"I have to do what I've been doing in the past, work hard, work on strategies and do what I've been doing on the court," Schwartz said.
Scheuler said, "Jeremy will definitely make the lineup as a freshman, possibly at third or fourth singles. I foresee him having a tremendous career at Hopkins."