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Parkersburg Catholic’s Aidan Roberts remains sharp

Parkersburg Catholic No. 1 tennis player Aidan Roberts has experienced some very high high’s during his time on the Crusader team. With his mind and body sharp in 2020, he plans to go out as a state champion. Photo provided

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Success has come quickly to Aidan Roberts on each step of his journey with Parkersburg Catholic’s tennis team.

It all started when he set himself apart his freshmen season. By clobbering everyone in his path to a No. 4 seed Class AA/A state championship, Roberts showed he would be a problem with his sharp mind and a sneaky power game.

Those two tools helped him reach familiar heights as the No. 1 and No. 2 seed for the Crusaders over the next two years.

But they weren’t the same levels, merely similar to the past ones.

While he climbed to the final match his sophomore year and the next to final one his junior season, both ended in defeat. Each coming under different circumstances, too.

Winfield’s John Bowman, who Roberts played evenly through much of the opening set, eventually and comfortably took the No. 2 crown. Then last season, Ravenswood’s Max Hilton “played almost a level above what I could do,” according to Roberts in a 6-0, 6-0 loss.

It was a defeat causing Roberts’ reflection on his normal off-season routine. Where he normally played “a ton” over the summer, he ended up taking a step back in the hottest months of 2019.

“I was a little worried coming back into the fall and spring. The season can be pretty taxing but I thought I may be better off without being exhausted before our actual campaign,” he said.

This decision led to encouraging results through the opening days of practice. “My overall game is much better and it is almost an overall improvement.. I am experimenting a little more, too,” said Roberts.

His additions involved more than just his on the court game. Roberts’ mental mental health and physical stamina are higher, as well.

Head coach Jason Disicni, who could see Roberts wanted another shot at a state championship, witnessed these improvements immediately and was excited.

It wasn’t hard for Discini to get a first-hand look. Though as the head coach he would see everyone, Roberts is now his daughter Marie’s practice partner. And as she captured the last three Class AA/A state championships thanks to her displaying a USTA-caliber level of talent, high level could have caused problems but Jason said it hasn’t. “They are going to push each other the entire year,” said Discini. “They poke at each other and trash talk and it has been fun to watch even if they get carried away with it sometimes.”

All of this has led to the Crusaders’ No. 1 player being one of the most ready athletes for spring sports.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to the Crusader’s plans for the moment.

But, the stoppage hasn’t kept Roberts from remaining vigilant and ready to go should an abbrieviated season be played.

“I think my mind is in a good place right now and I am feeling great,” said Roberts.

“It is very important he’s kept his mind right because we still don’t know about a season,” said Discini. “The second you stop thinking it is going to happen is when you lose that edge and fire. The second you step away it gets harder to get that edge back right away.

“If it comes down to it again between John and Aidan, Aidan has learned a lot and the amount of thought he has put into this season means he will be more than ready,” said Discini.

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