Ping-Pong Gaining Attention

Bartosz Janczuk, Sports Editor

The Wildcats’ Ping-Pong teams have done well through this early portion of the season, both producing wins in their first match against Harding High School last week.

“They’re pretty good,” stated Boys’ co-captain Nick Asta when asked about the Harding squad. “Ping-pong there is actually a school-sponsored sport, so they play everyday, but we beat them in a close one.”

Taylor Luecke, a sophomore on the Girls’ team, added that, “The season’s been fun. I’ve gotten my friends into it this year, so I get to play with them.” This illustrates a growing pattern for both teams; they seem to be adding more and more talent each year as the sport grows in popularity.

Knowing that the Eagan teams aren’t necessarily stacked with talent quite yet, the victories are doubly impressive when one considers the fact that Eagan players themselves rarely practice – only once a week. However, the boys’ captain explained that this isn’t really a big issue.

“We’re deeper than most teams,” said Asta. “For example, Harding was really good with its first four but then it dropped off. For us, both teams are pretty solid all around, so that’s one of our advantages.”

Perhaps another advantage can be found in the teams’ lack of frequent practice: players often play more for the joy of the sport than to be competitive. “Ping-pong’s more about the fun of just playing,” stated Luecke. “Winning is fun too, but I don’t really care if I win or lose.”

Regardless of why, the teams look solid so far and will look to continue doing so as the season progresses. Unfortunately, their success usually seems to go largely unnoticed around the school’s student body.

“Honestly, I don’t think a lot of people know there’s a team, for one thing,” stated Luecke when asked why this is the case. Asta added, “We’re not really a true sport. At Harding, they actually get school money, nice tables, gym time. We just kind of play however we can. “

Hopefully, the trend of increased participants can continue and eventually make ping-pong one of the school’s most popular sports; perhaps, the teams will even get more funding from the school in the future. Until then, however, we will have to settle for watching these not-too-competitive but admittedly talented teams manage with what they’ve got.