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Football players star for Mt. Pleasant tennis

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Mt. Pleasant seniors Tim Ferree and Jim Stefancic have been standout football players the past two seasons. Since they were young, football was — and remains — their passion. And they played key roles as the Vikings won the 2009 Interstate Conference championship.

Tennis, on the other hand, was something Ferree and Stefancic played to kill time — until this spring, when they decided to go out for the team.

"Honestly, it started with us just messing around," Ferree said.

Ferree said he and Stefancic, along with Stefancic's sister, Nicole, and several other Mt. Pleasant students used to play tennis for fun in their spare time. Apparently, the football players showed enough potential to grab the attention of coach Tony Splendore.

"Splendore heard about us and asked us if we wanted to play," Ferree said. "We weren't good right away, but eventually we started playing well."

Splendore is happy that they gave tennis a chance.

"I knew they were good athletes from football," he said. "I talked to them, and they decided to give it a try. They like to play together, and so far it has been working really well."

That might be an understatement considering the duo has an 11-0 record playing second doubles. The Vikings are 11-0, too, even though they have six new starters this season.

"I was expecting to goof around some," Stefancic said. "But it's pretty serious, and we don't want to lose. It's fun, and we're having fun trying to get better."

Splendore said Ferree and Stefancic are a good match.

"Jim is a hustler, and he gets to all the balls," Splendore said. "Tim has a big serve, and he is a big guy at the net. They complement each other very well. They've been a pleasant surprise."

Stefancic and Ferree are good friends, and they may play together at Waynesburg this fall. But for now, they're enjoying their time on the court, hoping to help Mt. Pleasant to another title.

"We were just looking for something to do, and now we want to go undefeated," Ferree said. "I'm having a blast."

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