Young is a leader in life at North Tonawanda
A leader in life is even more impressive. Nick Young is both.
In his second year with the North Tonawanda varsity tennis team Young, a senior, is experiencing a break out season as he’s raced to a 4-0 start at third singles.
Originally spending grades seven through 10 as a member of the Jacks track and field team, Young was looking for a new challenge and was drawn to the tennis program by longtime friend and varsity soccer teammate Adam Mourgas.
“It just seemed more fun than track,” Young said after the Jacks defeated Kenmore West.
“I played it over the summer with my brothers. My older brother (Mitchell) played for NT when I was in 10th grade.”
Playing first doubles with Mourgas the duo finished with a .500 winning percentage. While they obviously would liked to have won more matches, doing their part to help the Jacks capture the NFL title was thrilling. But more than anything Young said just being able to continue their bond as friends in a new sport made last year fun and helped his game improve a great deal.
Coming into Year Two with the tennis team Young embraced his new job description and was eager to make an impact at third singles.
“I was excited. Definitely excited,” he said.”(Coach John LeMar) asked me if I wanted doubles or singles. I had a choice. I like playing singles and doubles, they each have their advantages. I don’t get to joke
around with anyone in singles.”
“When you win it’s all on you,” he said.”Everything is up to you. That’s what I like about it. There’s no one to blame but yourself.”
A veteran of the Jacks varsity soccer team for three seasons, Young was not only is he a well-condition athlete, Jacks tennis coach John LeMar believes Young also brings with him that all-important mental toughness.
“What’s nice is not only do we have a kid who’s a good athlete and a good kid, besides
the talent he’s really mentally strong,” coach John LeMar said. “What I really like about him is under the pressure situations, he’s used to that from the other sports and playing tennis last year and soccer for years. So he’s really not going to get rattled by different situations. So for me, as a coach, yeah it’s nice to have a lot of confidence in him.”
But athletics is just one facet of Nick Young’s world. An all-star in the class room Young is ranked No.4 in the NTHS Class of 2012 and is planning on heading to West Point. Young was first drawn to the military school while watching an Army football game with his father last year.
“I was watching a college football game,” he said.”That’s when I asked what Army was. That was in my junior year and my dad told me. I looked it up and at the time they were accepting applications for their Summer Leadership Seminar. You go there and kind of live like how a Cadet would live. There’s sports after we took classes. You had to sign
up for certain classes. That’s what sealed it because up until then I wasn’t sure.”
Following through with the formal application Young said that having that first hand exposure to the school is what sold him on what his next move in life would be.
With brothers John Michael and Andrew LeMar rotating at first and second singles, Nick Young gives the Jacks the luxury of one of, if not, the best third singles player in the NFL.
But while Young certainly takes pride in his place on the Jacks tennis team, the chance to serve his country is something that’s on an even greater level.
“It just seems satisfying,” he said.