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Senior captain Joe Brown enjoyed a nice senior season on the doubles court this spring. Joe and sophomore Matt DiVito earned All-Conference honors and a nod to play in Class M State Championship after holding down the No. 1 doubles position for the East Haven boys’ tennis team. (Photo courtesy of Joe Brown )
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Joe Brown wasn’t planning on playing tennis when he entered East Haven High School. In fact, Joe had never played the sport until he went out for the boys’ tennis team as a sophomore.
However, Joe came a long way on the court during the past few years and finished his career with an excellent senior season this spring. Joe, a senior captain, and doubles partner Matt DiVito earned All-SCC Division II honors and also qualified for the Class M State Championship while playing the No. 1 slot for East Haven.
“Starting off, I was shaky. I couldn’t hit a ball for my life. But as the season went on, I was able to hit the ball on the court and not over the fence,” Joe says. “I didn’t know how to play tennis, but after practicing every day, I got the handle of it, and it became easy.”
Joe prefers the doubles game because of his background playing team sports like football and basketball. Joe says that he likes competing alongside a teammate between the baselines.
“Doubles was always my game,” says Joe. “I’m a basketball player, so I’m used to having people with me. Having a partner makes life easier.”
Joe and sophomore DiVito put together a great campaign playing No. 1 doubles for the Yellowjackets this season. After qualifying for the Class M State Championship, the duo earned a 6-3, 7-5 victory in their first-round matchup at the meet.
“We started off 3-0, and then we started seeing better teams and losing. So, at practice, we started working together more to beat the teams we had to beat to get where we had to go,” Joe says. “We’re both very outgoing. We do a good job of cheering each other on. Really, we both hate losing.”
First-year Head Coach Anthony Perrotti says that he and Joe are cut from the same cloth when it comes to tennis. Perrotti was pleased to see Joe leave it all out there every time the senior stepped on the court.
“Right off the bat, Joe and I connected, because we’re both competitive,” says Perrotti. “He was willing to do what it took to go out there and win every match.”
Joe admits that his competitive fire would sometimes get the best of him. However, Joe learned how to overcome that obstacle and turn his passion into a positive for the squad.
“If I messed up, I used to punch my racquet. I’d get in my own head. But Coach and Matt talked to me about playing one point at a time, and that really helped me,” Joe says. “In our first match, I would get really hyped after I did something good. The other kids didn’t understand, but as the season went on, they got more into the game, because they knew what we had to do to win. I think that really helped us.”
Joe loved leading East Haven as one of the team’s senior captains. He felt honored to serve in that role during his final campaign as a Yellowjacket.
“It means a lot for me. Being a captain for tennis and helping these guys develop meant a lot,” says Joe. “I tried to make tennis fun—not aggravating.”
Joe never expected to get into tennis so much at East Haven. Joe found a love for the sport with the Easties and plans to continue playing tennis for years to come.
“Honestly, tennis is now my favorite sport. I love it now, and I didn’t think I would when I first started my sophomore year,” Joe says. “Hopefully, I can go back to East Haven and play with the kids there now and play for the rest of my life.”
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