Keeping a clear mind
Prep tennis: Aggressive style of play keeps Wildcat Parker McBride ahead of Foothill League competition
Although he appears aggressive on the court, Parker McBride insists he’s relaxed.
“Honestly, I don’t try to think about anything when I play,” he said. “Just keep a clear mind and let my body take over.”
McBride’s relaxed-yet-dominating style of play has earned him the title of 2018 All SCV Boys Tennis Singles Player of the Year.
As a means of preparing for matches, he sleeps on the car ride to wherever the site of the match will be. Once he steps foot on the court, however, McBride looks anything but sleepy. Heavy-handed serves and swift returns commence, along with plenty of shouting.
“Aggressive,” McBride said of his style of play. “Just always try to find ways to the net.”
A highlight of the senior’s season was yet another showdown against teammate Davey Woodland in the Foothill League individual finals.
For the third consecutive season, the individual crown had come down to the pair. Woodland had won the first two times. The third time, it was McBride who came out on top.
“He’s a great player and I’ve been battling with him all my life, so it felt great to win,” McBride said. “He definitely helped shape my game. Playing against him taught me to be mentally tough.”
In addition to having tennis-centric childhood friends, McBride was also surrounded by a tennis family. While he played for the Wildcats boys team, his sister, Jordyn, plays for the girls team, which his mom, Dina, also coaches.
Although he tried just about every sport growing up – particularly lacrosse – it only seemed natural that McBride, who will continue his career at Irvine Valley College, fell into the sport that surrounded him since birth.
“I just constantly hear tennis,” he said. “And you can see what they’re talking about when you go to tournaments and see matches on TV.”
Ahead of his senior year, McBride focused on strengthening his serve. It’s saved him in a few matches, he said, but he can’t bring himself to completely depend on one particular skill to win.
“It’s always a different thing that lets me win every day,” McBride said, “because not everything will be on each day.”
No matter what physical skill McBride uses to win in a match, you can always count on his tenacity.
Davey Woodland, senior, West Ranch
The Wildcats’ No. 1 singles player battled it out with Parker McBride for the third consecutive year in the race for the Foothill League individual title. He’s now 2-for-3 in league title matches, with McBride winning the most recent one in a tie-breaker.
Gabriel Chavez, freshman, Valencia
Chavez was the No. 3-seeded player heading into the Foothill League finals and played a tough match against Parker McBride in the semifinals. Vikings like Chavez kept singles play interesting across the Foothill League this season and will continue to entertain through his varsity career.
Dustin Kua, senior, Trinity
As Trinity Classical Academy’s lone boys tennis representative, Kua made the deepest postseason run of all Santa Clarita Valley singles players. He reached the CIF-Southern Section Round of 16 before losing to Colter Smith, the son of USC tennis coach Peter Smith. Kua will continue his tennis career at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Canyon – Jeremy Cook, senior Golden Valley – Dylan Yu, junior Hart – Spencer Kline, junior Saugus – Erin Pang, senior Valencia – Eduardo Cedeno, senior West Ranch – Hayden Rand, freshman
After winning the Foothill League individual title, Parker McBride, as seen in this Signal illustration, is the 2018 All-SCV Boys Tennis Singles Player of the Year.
West Ranch senior Parker McBride beat teammate Davey Woodland for the Foothill League individual title this season. He’ll continue his playing career at Irvine Valley College.