Edmond North assistant tennis coach Bryan Duroy had talked to me in the past about freshman David Hager. I didn’t get a chance to see him at the Heritage Hall Tournament of Champions.
And though I knew the name, I didn’t know the face. So I got to Kickingbird on Monday and had no idea what Hager looked like. It turns out I was running into him a lot, just had no idea who he was.
He’s easy to miss because you seriously do not think he should be in high school. He has no size on him at all. He’s not tall, he’s not tall, but get him on the court and look out.
He doesn’t overpower you, but he is a human backboard. He gets every shot back and frustrates you. You have to be so mentally strong to be able to beat someone like that. To go with that, he does a great job of playing with precision. In the championship match, you could count his unforced errors on one hand.
And I admit I smiled a little bit because that that was the exact same way I used to play. Shocker of all shocker, but I’ve always been a small guy. I don’t possess power, but I could rally with someone until they forced the action and made the mistake.
But Hager’s is light years better than I was. And it was a treat to watch him work against Bishop McGuinness’ Jonathan Kraft.
Kraft, a two-time state champion, didn’t play badly. He hit a lot of good shots that would have been winners against other players. Hager somehow found a way to get all the shots back en route to a 6-0, 6-2 victory.
While Hager opened my eyes, the whole Edmond North team was dominant in sweeping the Edmond Tournament. Hager is undefeated this season. It’s going to be fun to watch him develop as a player in the future.
Look for a video with Hager on NewsOK on Tuesday. You can watch and see that it remains true that you cannot judge a book by its cover. He packs a lot of game in that frame of his.
Robert Przybylo, firstname.lastname@example.org