Although he is only a sophomore, Vincentian Academy's No. 1 singles tennis player proved you are never too young to be the first to accomplish something great.
In his second year on the team, Chen did something no other tennis player has done: win a WPIAL tennis singles championship.
“It was tough, because our section is usually one of the toughest,” Chen said. “Josh Raymundo (from Mars) is a tough player, but he had to miss because of appendicitis.”
With arguably the toughest player out of the tournament, the pressure shifted to Chen, who took on the mantra of coach Al Skorupka.
“He always tells me to never give up and keep fighting,” Chen said.
The sophomore did just that and took the Class AA gold medal, advancing to states in the process.
“The past year, Derek trained very hard over at Oxford Athletic Club and played in a lot of tournaments,” Skorupka said. “He is tournament tough, and that translated into the WPIAL tournament.”
Skorupka said the sky is the limit for Chen, who shifts his attention to the PIAA bracket.
“It feels good to have that tennis banner in the gym, and I have to thank my teammates for that. They push me,” Chen said. “Now, I have to stay fit and mentally ready for states.”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.