Ping-Pong players get serious

Katie McKeever

Those who have long felt a passionate calling towards the art of table tennis are now facilitated now have an opportunity to show off their skills. Table tennis has finally made its way into BSM community’s extensive after-school activity index.

Credited for the creation of BSM’s very first ping-pong, or rather table tennis, team are juniors Camille Sampson and Elizabeth Papetti. After realizing the number of their fellow students who would be interested in partaking in this new after-school activity, the two approached Ms. Mary Andersen and Mr. Casey Hanson for their approval and support. “It was really simple,” said Papetti, “all we did was go to Ms. Andersen and then talk to Mr. Hanson.”

There were an astonishing number of students who turned out for the table tennis team. There were 64 in total, along with ten students who still remain on the waiting list. Senior Nick Davis said he joined the team because of his undeniable “love for the game of ping-pong,” and he has high hopes to “perfect his forehand and backhand.”

Many participants, who are just as passionate about table tennis as Davis, meet in the Commons Cafeteria on Tuesdays or Thursdays in order to spend time with the tables perfecting their spin. Coach Hansen said “it’s all about spending time with the tables.” He plans to work with his team on serving skills and their spins which make it harder for the opponent to return the ball: “Spins virtually change the game,” said Hanson.

Hanson said he is in the process of speaking to other schools who have similar table tennis programs. “So far I have two schools lined up as possible future opponents,” said Hanson. He hopes to set up tournaments for the team to show off their acquired skills. 64 members, however, are going to have to battle it out and prove to Coach Hanson and Coach St. Martin they are deserving of one of the top ten spots to compete in the varsity competitions.

Right now there are only ten tables, many of which have generously been donated by a number of faculty members as well as by members. This forces the team to be split into rotations in that there are different practice intervals. “We are always open for more donations if anyone has any [ping-pong] tables sitting around,” said Mr. Hanson. These intervals of practicing are 30 minutes in length between 3:00 and 5:00.