Western Wayne senior Lenny Maiocco captured his third District 2 Class 2A title with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Dallas freshman Tucker Chesman in the final. He lost just three games in the tournament.
Here is more from his Athlete of the Week interview:
Family: Father, Len; mother, Christa; sister, Alaina
Favorite teams: Dallas Cowboys. And for tennis, it’s Roger Federer and Serena Williams
Athletes I admire: Roger Federer. He’s so good at tennis and his athletic ability. His sportsmanship and class on and off the court is something I really admire and look up to.
Favorite food: Steak. Especially from Ruth Chris.
Favorite music: I’m mainstream. I like whatever hip-hop or pop that’s on. I like Maroon 5 and The Weeknd
Superstitions and rituals: I don’t have any, but my mom does. I have to wear the same outfit both days of districts and states. She won’t let me wear any other outfit. Same socks, same underwear, same shirt, same shorts, everything.
Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Roger Federer, Abraham Lincoln, Serena Williams
You won the district title as a freshman and a sophomore. How tough was it to have to miss last season because of the coronavirus pandemic? It was really tough. I was really bummed. The day the school said we’re shut down and not coming back, I was supposed to have a match. I was upset. I was really excited to play junior year. It’s a big recruiting year and I really wanted to do well and was really looking forward to it. But I kept telling myself that I had next year if we come back. I tried not to get too upset about it because there were seniors who were going through it and that was their last season, they’re not going to get (another chance). I tried to stay as optimistic as possible.
What were some of the things you did to try to keep your game sharp last year? Me and my dad could only hit outside. It was March and it was cold, but I still went outside and kept doing what I always do to keep my game sharp. Keep practicing, playing as many games as I could, work on my serve and ground strokes. Just keep going and not taking too much of a break where I’d have to get back into the groove.
How much pressure was there this year to win a third district title? I put all the pressure on myself. My coach didn’t, my parents didn’t. It was my senior year, I won it two times before, I really wanted to do it again and get to states. I was nervous going into the tournament. As a senior, I had something to prove. I was the No. 1 seed, I should win. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well.
Do you play the “What If?” game and wonder if the coronavirus pandemic didn’t happen, you could have won four district titles? Sometimes I think about that. It goes through my mind every once in a while. I just keep saying that everyone was in the same boat, no one was able to play. I don’t let it affect me. I just try to keep it as optimistic as possible.
You face the District 6 champion in the first round of states May 28. Do you know who that is? Not yet. I don’t know if they (the PIAA) release that until every district has played their district tournament yet. When it gets closer, my coach will look to see if (my opponent) has played in USTA tournaments, what his UTR (Universal Tennis Rating) is, what level star player he is and then we’ll go over a gameplan and a strategy for how I should play.
You won a bronze medal at states as a sophomore. What do you feel you have to do to win the gold this year? Just continue to play my game. Keep practice, working hard and making sure I’m in shape and ready for everything.
Reflect on your high school career and your 56-3 record: Overall, there’s only positive things to say about it. I’m grateful for the opportunity to play, do what I love and have great success with it. It was awesome to represent my school and make my family and myself proud.
If you could play any of the four major tennis tournaments, which one would it be? Definitely the U.S. Open. It’s in New York at the biggest tennis stadium in the world. Every player who goes through there and plays says how awesome it is and how amazing it is to play under the lights and in front of that crowd. Wimbledon on grass is a close second, but I think I would like the experience and atmosphere a little better at the U.S. Open.
Post-graduation plans: Going to the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, then hopefully going to law school after that. Are you going to play tennis there? I talked with the coach and if I were to play it would be as a walk-on. So hopefully when I get down there I’ll have a chance to try out for the team and get a spot.
During more than 30 years at The Times-Tribune, Scott has covered everything from high schools to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. His current beats include motor sports, local colleges, high school cross country and high school baseball. He also is a copy editor and page designer. His articles have won awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, Eastern Motorsports Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists Keystone Pro Chapter and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Keystone Press. He also has been honored by the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League and the Minor League Football Alliance. In 2016, he was presented the Media Service Award by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. A Long Island, New York, native, Scott graduated from the University of Scranton in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He lives in Peckville with his wife, Andrea, and daughters, Bridget and Emily. Contact him at email@example.com; 570-348-9100, x5109; or @swalshTT on Twitter