Baig’s sophomore breakout delayed only one year


Photo courtesy of Alice Adams.

Huy Huynh, Multimedia Editor

This previously ran in our April 2022 print issue. 

Beginning his tennis journey freshman year, Ryan Baig had anything but a normal season in 2021. 

Like many other incoming freshman athletes at the time, his first year of tennis was significantly impacted by COVID-19.

It was definitely different then, I would say, especially this year. Wearing masks was required throughout the entire tennis season,” Baig said. “And there was a lot less people in general, because of COVID restrictions.”

Despite the unusual circumstances Baig endured his first year playing tennis, he was still able to put on a performance, demonstrating his hard work and talent by winning an exhibition doubles match against players from Whitehall.

“It was a well-fought match; it ended up pretty well on our side. It was like 8-2 I think, so it was my first win playing [high] school tennis, and it was satisfying. I’ve been practicing for like a year prior, so it was good to win and it was satisfying to just feel that you accomplished something after months and months of hard work,” Baig said.

Baig also plans to continue playing tennis throughout his high school career and has even given some thought to playing tennis at the collegiate level.

“But when it comes to college, I’m not fully decided yet, but I have a good feeling that I will be playing it. I feel pretty good about my playing so far.”

More than just a tennis player, though, Baig is also an academically gifted student and musician, taking some of the hardest classes Emmaus High School has to offer while simultaneously playing violin for the school orchestra. As a sophomore, he has already taken a number of honors and AP level courses.

For many, finding a healthy balance between loved ones, sports, and other interests can prove to be a daunting challenge. It can often lead to distress and complications. Luckily for Baig, he has found a process that works for him.

“Sometimes it gets hard, but you know, it’s just you have to time things out. You have to plan things and you have to consider what things are more important. You have to prioritize, but I feel like if you do those things, and you just take time to enjoy yourself, you can feel happy,” Baig said. “I’m balancing keeping my grades up, making sure I’m having [a] good time in class, making sure I’m having good time with friends, but also just being good at tennis too. ”

Having two more years left in his high school experience, Baig has found a huge part of his identity by pursuing his interest in playing tennis. It has taught him sportsmanship, perseverance, comradery, and much more. By exploring his interest and taking the opportunity to pursue tennis in high school, he proves to be a talented prospect for the future of the boys Emmaus tennis team.

“For anybody out there who wants to do something or for anybody who wants to try something new, go for it. At least two years ago, I wouldn’t see myself playing tennis on the Emmaus High School team. There’s things out there for everybody to do. And there’s things that everybody can be great at. And sometimes it just takes time to look for it.”