Photo courtesy of mamkschools: “Hope and Courage Crawford pictured after winning their second consecutive state title on June 4, 2016.”
The Crawford brothers have done it again. For the second time in as many years, Hope ’16 and Courage Crawford ‘18 can call themselves state champions. “It feels great,” Hope said. “To capture the title for the second time, after putting in all the work during the offseason in preparation for the season and state tournament, is very fulfilling.”
Coming into the state tournament as the 1 seed, it was hardly a surprise that Hope and Courage made the finals. When they got there, though, they had to face a familiar foe in James Wei and Spencer Lowitz of Horace Greeley. Just nine days prior to the state championship match, the Crawfords squared off against the doubles pair from Greeley in the section final, losing in straight sets, 3-6, 5-7. “They came out prepared and ready to go while we struggled to keep up; we underperformed severely that day and they played a very good match,” Courage claimed.
Like all good athletes, the Crawfords used the loss as motivation. “The disappointment and shock we felt after we lost helped us train harder and stay focused so we wouldn’t experience another loss in later stages,” Hope added. As you might expect, the brothers were able to use that motivation to prevail in the state finals, beating the boys from Greeley, 7-5, 6-2, to win their second straight championship.
While Hope and Courage will be remembered for their magical runs together the past two springs, it should be noted that they both play singles during the regular season before teaming up for the postseason. That, in and of itself, makes the accomplishments even more impressive, but the change doesn’t faze them. “There are not too many changes [switching from singles to doubles]. I feel very comfortable on the court knowing my brother has my back,” the brothers concurred.
For Courage, who’s still only a sophomore, there are still two more years of playing for Mamaroneck. For Hope, however, this is the end of his high school tennis career. “Next year I plan to train and play professional tennis in the Czech Republic in preparation for the top tier of college tennis I will play in.”
Wherever they go, one thing is for certain: nobody will ever forget the things the Crawfords have done for Mamaroneck Tennis.
By Stephen Rothman