Luke Cobb says playing No. 1 singles on varsity — after playing the same position on junior varsity — is definitely a big difference.

This season Cobb has been at No. 1 singles for Brownstown Central, making the grand jump from the JV squad.

“It was a major difference from the junior varsity to varsity,” he said. “In junior varsity I could just go out and give it about half-best and I could still get the win.”

“At No. 1 singles you have to come out every day with everything you have.”

The senior played both JV singles and doubles his sophomore year, and there is no doubt what his favorite is.

“I like singles,” Cobb said. “I don’t have to rely that much on another person. I can put all the trust in the shot on me. I don’t have to worry about somebody else messing up.”

Cobb, who began playing tennis in sixth grade, said during warm-ups he hits all types of shots to try to see what his opponent has trouble with.

“I try to hit it to their backhand,” he said. “Around the net I judge how fast they are, if they can get to a ball, and how much power they can put behind it in placing it, if they’re running or if they’re stationary, see how fast their serve is so I know where to stand to get the best shot off of it.”

Cobb said he works hard in practice.

Scott Dittmer is in his first year coaching the Braves.

Cobb said, “It’s been completely different (this season). We put more into each practice, we run, we do more conditioning, and more focus on certain aspects instead of going out there and just hitting.”

For Cobb, a strong start is essential against all competition.

“It is extremely important because once you’re down a set it’s hard to come back because you’re already tired, you’re already worn down and you look at that scorecard and ‘there’s not that much hope for me,'” Cobb said.

“But when you’re up a set the opponent is thinking the same exact thing, that ‘I’m down, I don’t know if I can continue on.’ It sort of demoralizes whoever is down a set.”

On the court, Cobb always tries to keep his cool.

“The mental aspect plays an important role in sports because you can make or break everything you do on this,” Cobb said. “If you’re down and you’re not thinking you can do anything you’re going to fail, but if you go in there giving everything you have and knowing you have a shot, you’re more likely to succeed.”

Cobb said he has enjoyed his time at Brownstown Central.

“I’ve enjoyed it immensely,” he said. “The teachers really care about how you do and your final grade in class and if you enjoy it or not.

“I’m really going to miss it. I know the teachers have put a lasting impression on us. We’re finally parting our ways, friends, teachers and staff all together. It’s going to be rough.”

At a glance

Name: Luke Cobb

School: Brownstown Central

Parents: Brad Cobb, Mary Cobb

Siblings: Jordan, Noah

Sports: tennis 4 years

Organizations: National Honor Society

Plans after high school: attend college, major in architecture, engineering

Favorite food: Mexican chicken

Favorite TV show: The Walking Dead

Favorite musician: Newsboys

Favorite team: Indianapolis Colts

Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.