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Push for perfection pays off for Kurz

June 18, 2008|By MARK KELLER

It's pretty safe to say that David Kurz is a perfectionist.

First-year Smithsburg tennis coach Jason Smith found that out very early in the 2008 season.

"It was funny. I would go around trying to keep an eye on six to eight matches at a time, and I would see David getting frustrated," Smith said. "So I'd go over and ask him what was wrong, and he'd say, 'I lost a game.'

"So I'd have to tell him to break down in one game is all right. To break down in four games is not."

Kurz didn't break down often in a 23-1 season, winning county and region titles and qualifying for the state tournament, which led to his selection as The Herald-Mail's All-Area and All-County Boys Tennis Player of the Year.

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The only blemishes on his record came at the hands of Francis Scott Key's Justin Smith.

In the Leopards' first match of the regular season, Kurz dropped the first set to Smith before rallying to win the next two.

He didn't lose another set until he faced Smith again in the first round of the state tournament, where Smith prevailed in straight sets.

"That was the biggest disappointment, losing to him at states after I had already beaten him," Kurz said. "But getting to states was one of my goals before the season and I did reach that."

Kurz admitted to being too hard on himself at times this season, but at the same time, he credits that drive with getting him prepared for the tougher competition of regionals and states.

"I needed a challenge for myself, because a lot of my matches weren't as competitive as I knew I would have later in the year," Kurz said. "It would have been real easy to let my guard down."

"So I tried to win every game and tried to be perfect because I knew I would have tougher opponents down the line," Kurz said.

Kurz, who was valedictorian of his graduating class, is hoping to earn a spot on the junior varsity team next year at Princeton, where he will major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Joining Kurz on the All-Area Boys Tennis Team:

Stephan Kreifels, Mercersburg Academy: Junior played No. 1 singles for the Blue Storm against stiff competition in the Mid-Atlantic Prep League. Finished 4-8, but beat Jefferson's Brice Barker in straight sets. Named to All-MAPL team.

Greg Keiter, Hedgesville: Senior ended 2008 with a 14-8 record, but finished strong, beating Jefferson's Brice Barker late in the regular season and again in the region tournament.

Brice Barker-Jacob Jones, Jefferson: Barker and Jones combined to go 28-2 in doubles play, and both finished well as singles players -- Barker was 22-5 at No. 1 and Jones was 27-4 at No. 2.

Charlie Brasher-Allen Sandberg, North Hagerstown: Juniors finished with a 20-4 record and won both county and region titles before losing in the first round of the state tournament.

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