Carol Lewis was building on several great years for the Sandwich High School tennis team as she entered her last one with the Knights. The honor roll student, who also played basketball at SHS, had been the team’s Most Improved Player award winner and was entering her second year as captain of the team.
It was going to be a good final go-round for Lewis, but her year ended like everyone else’s. The graduating senior was an honor roll student at SHS, an all-star for tennis and was selected to represent her school at Girls State.
Carol said that her most-prized possession is her late dog’s collar, a reminder of a pet she loved. She was supposed to work her third summer at Oak Crest Super Fun Program this year, but is babysitting instead since the program was canceled.
The daughter of David and Kathleen Lewis is a big fan of hip hop music. She said her favorite TV shows are “The Office” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” and “Back To The Future” is her favorite movie. She said Italian food is her go-to, as well as tiramisu and Mountain Dew.
How did you get involved with tennis? How much do you enjoy it?
My mom always urged me to play tennis. As a kid, I never wanted to play, but I decided to try tennis and I enjoyed it. In the eighth grade I tried out for the varsity team and made it. From there I started to quickly fall in love with it. With tennis, I felt a different passion compared to other sports I played. I love to be on the court and I have the drive to win. If you told me a couple of years ago that I would be the captain of the tennis team I would have probably laughed.
What did you see your role being for the Knights during this spring season had it been played. What had you done to prepare for it?
This year would have been my first season playing singles, which would have been a drastic change for me. My senior year would have been my second year as a co-captain, so I already had some experience under my belt. In the off-season, I spent my time on the basketball court working on speed and hand-eye coordination.
As a player, do you prefer playing singles tennis or doubles, and why?
Ever since freshman year, I have played on the doubles team as a starter, and I have loved it. For my senior year, I was looking forward to switching over to singles, which would have been challenging but fun. Doubles is my favorite because I work well with a teammate rather than playing by myself. When I play I tend to get in my head so it’s always nice to have a teammate there to talk strategies and motivate each other.
You also played basketball at Sandwich High. Are you pleased with how your career played out, and what will you remember most fondly about it?
I have played basketball for most of my life and couldn’t see my high school experience without it. Basketball gave me most of my friendships throughout my years as I played with some of the same group of girls. I will always be grateful for that.
Explain what you felt when you found out that your senior season would not be played this year?
I was definitely bummed out, especially with tennis being my favorite sport to play. Knowing that I would not be able to play competitively again was not easy for me. Last year we went the farthest in the state tournament than we have in past years, and I was really looking forward to another opportunity to try to win a title. It was tough at first but eventually, I came to terms with and understood why it was the right call.
If you could replay one game that you have played in, which one would it be? Why?
A tennis match I played in against Barnstable. Both teams were tied and it was my first doubles court that was the deciding win for the team. Playing at Barnstable is always a challenge because they constantly have a great crowd; even for tennis. It was getting heated between both teams but my teammate, Sophie Esdale, and I stayed focused and we never took our foot off the gas pedal. This match was about three hours long so it was mentally and physically draining but to know that Sophie and I beat Barnstable, a school twice our size, is a great accomplishment and one I will never forget.
What do you consider the highlight of your athletic career so far?
The highlight of my athletic career would be when I was named a captain for the tennis team. I worked extremely hard for that title and to know that my coach recognized my efforts made it all the better. It’s an honor I am very proud of.
Who is the best teammate that you’ve ever played with? What makes that person stand out?
I have played with a ton of great athletes while at Sandwich High but if I was to pick just one it would be Sophie. Sophie and I played doubles together for three years before we started playing singles. Sophie and I were like twins on the court. We could read each other’s minds. In addition we knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses on the court. In the time Sophie and I played together we had a nearly perfect record.
Do you have any sports-related superstitions?
In general, I like to just listen to music on full blast. I don’t really like when people talk to me before an important match or game. I have my headphones in until it is time to warm up. For tennis specifically, I keep the same grip on my racket until I lose a match, then I replace it with a new one. This is not really a superstition but I also have a ladybug damper on the strings of my racket that I have had since eighth grade. The ladybug is for good luck.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from playing sports?
Teamwork. Playing doubles requires you to cooperate with each other rather. I have played on teams that work very well together and ones that do not. It is clear that teamwork can make or break a team. Luckily for me, the tennis team worked well with each other and that’s why I think we had a winning record.
Who has been your inspiration?
My inspiration has always been my cousin Matt, who is a graduate of the Naval Academy and the smartest person I know. Matt is currently an F-18 Commander on the USS Roosevelt. His determination and humbleness inspires me to be my best every day.
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my parents, brother, aunt Deedee, and my Latin teacher, Mrs. Moynahan, for their never-ending support and guidance. As well as my best friend, Evelyn Orman, for always being there for me.
When quarantine life is over, what is the thing you are most looking forward to doing?
I am looking forward to heading up to Boston for concerts with my friends.
What’s the biggest difference between you as a senior and as a freshman? If you could go back, what advice would you give to your freshman self?
Freshman year me was very intimidated by the upperclassmen. I played with and against kids that were a couple of years older than me, so I felt like I had to win to prove myself. The advice I would give my freshman self would be to just focus on yourself and the game and leave everything you have on the court.
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
I memorized the Canadian National anthem for no reason. My dad is the biggest hockey fan, whether we were at a game or watching it on TV, I would always hear it being played, and as a kid, I just started to memorize it, and now it is ingrained into my brain.
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what would you want to do?
If I had to switch places with someone for a week it would be Tom Brady, and the first thing I would do would be to sign back to the Patriots.
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
My ideal day would be lounging on the beach with all my friends listening to music.
What are your post-high-school plans?
Attend Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, where I plan on majoring in English.
Where will you be in 10 years, and what will you be doing?
In 10 years I plan on having graduated from law school and living in Boston with my friends.