American Tennis Champ Michael Chang Congratulates SMES Girls Tennis
American tennis great Michael Chang visited St. Margaret’s before the Christmas break to congratulate the Tartan girls’ tennis team for its fourth straight CIF Championship. He attended an Upper and Middle School pep rally to celebrate the girls’ unprecedented achievement in a highly competitive CIF southern section field. To read about the team’s success, click here.
During the celebration, San Juan Capistrano Mayor Larry Kramer attended, with SJC Mayor Pro Tem John Taylor, and offered his congratulations to the team. St. Margaret’s Athletics Director Susie Maga recapped the team’s season and recognized each girl as she entered the Pasternack Field House through a spirit tunnel created by the Tartan cheerleaders. A fun and spirited video summary of the team’s season, created by St. Margaret’s parent and filmmaker Steve Oedekerk, was also presented.
Click here for photo gallery.
Michael Chang spoke of his many successes on the court, but said those victories were not what was the most important in life. He shared a message of strong character and morality and generally treating people well and with respect as being the highest success of a person. He shared that achieving that level of moral center and inner purpose enables victories on the court and in other arenas in life to be much more meaningful and rewarding.
Headmaster Marcus D. Hurlbut also offered a congratulatory message to the team, “As a lifelong tennis player, the success of our tennis teams means a lot to me. This morning we are taking time to honor a truly remarkable accomplishment, and there are really no words to do justice to a winning streak of 96 matches and four consecutive CIF championships. I suspect it would be tempting for some to take all of this for granted – what’s the big deal? The girls’ tennis team always wins! All they have to do is show up and another win goes in the record books.
“This of course is a long way from the truth. Sure, there have been some easy wins, but this team and this coach could never be accused of padding their schedule. In fact, in those early season matches when we have full discretion to pick our opponents, Coach Trager has consistently gone after the big dogs on the theory that we get better by playing up and “the streak” will take care of itself.
“The girls’ tennis team has made all of us proud to be Tartans and we are deeply grateful for the time and dedication that each player, coach and parent has brought to this remarkable accomplishment. You have taught us many valuable lessons in focus, dedication, perseverance, and teamwork in a sport that is most often not seen as a team sport. You have given yourselves and all of us fortunate enough to be there on that Monday before Thanksgiving a lifetime memory – a moment in time when everything seemed to come down to one match and a few points. While this was the focus at that time, you all know that every match, every game and pretty much every point over the course of the season brought us to that special moment. You ALL made it happen. Congratulations!”
The 2011 CIF Championship Tartans Girls Tennis Team Members are:
Head Coach Rick Trager
To read about Michael Chang’s remarkable career, please click here.