Lakeview coach Trapp adjusting to new role
BOARDMAN — Ryan Trapp’s view was much different during previous seasons of tennis.
The former Howland High School and Youngstown State University standout has been a go-to instructor for some of the area’s top high school players looking to improve their respective games.
Trapp is a professional tennis instructor, but this year his vision has gone from mono to many.
He is a first-year coach for the Lakeview Bulldogs boys tennis team. This year, he has three players heading to the Division II district tournament Friday in Akron at Springside Racquet and Fitness Club.
“When you’re working one-on-one you get caught up in that person,” Trapp said. “You have to look out for the whole team and I pay attention to each player and how each player is much different. I get in a groove where it’s like I’m working for one guy, but you have to play to different personalities on the whole team.
“You have to scan what you’re seeing in front of you, what the team personality was versus an individual personalty is the biggest difference.”
It starts with the team’s No. 1 singles player, junior Jake McDivitt. He beat Ursuline’s Sean O’Connor in Saturday’s third-place match at the D-II Boardman Sectional tournament.
McDivitt made it to state last year as a sophomore. Trapp doesn’t want him to be satisfied with last year’s progress. He wants him to set a new goal for himself.
“You lost in first round of state last year,” Trapp said. “Make a new goal of trying to make it further into state, maybe second round? Every day you have to push yourself to get a little bit better than the tennis player you were yesterday.
“It’s hard to see big picture at their age where they get caught up in here and now. You’ve got to see the future. You have to keep progressing. Get a little better each day.”
The best part of McDivitt’s game is his serve.
“I’ve been hitting that pretty well,” said McDivitt, who is a third seed at districts. “That’s what I like so far.”
The doubles team of Ryan Carnahan and John Silbaugh returns to district play for the second straight season. Trapp hopes the second and third singles players during Lakeview’s regular season have an edge to them in the postseason.
“When you transition from singles to doubles it’s almost a different game,” Trapp said. “The matter of singles, a lot of times, is getting the ball back down the middle and force your opponent to miss. In doubles, you have to take it to them. So they have to stay aggressive.
“Ryan is a very consistent player. In doubles you have to pump him up, get aggressive, try to cut the net, try to take the net and be aggressive, trying to put things away instead of keeping the ball in.”
Carnahan is looking forward to his team playing in Akron.
“Once we got to district last year it’s a pretty fun atmosphere. Everyone there is really hyped up and excited,” he said.
Silbaugh said he and Carnahan, who go in to district as a fourth-seeded team, will be a tough out because they are tall and both can go to the net. Silbaugh is a left-handed player, while Carnahan is a righty.
“We have that difference and it can make the other teams look confused on the court,” Silbaugh said.
On the sidelines, waiting to talk to them during breaks, is Trapp. He’s been there for this Lakeview team.
“He really brings the best out in all of us,” Silbaugh said. “Even when we’re all down, he’ll give us positive attitude and make us try to be better.”
Trapp is trying to improve on what Stephanie Hickey did years ago for this Lakeview tennis program, giving it a chance at state.
“Stephanie started a lot of it,” Trapp said. “This is the culmination of it where you see these players. Right now we’re low on freshmen. You’re hoping that you get some of the younger kids from eighth grade and freshmen seeing that tennis is a very successful program. You build from that and you hope other classmates in middle school see how successful they are.
“Hopefully it will push them into tennis as opposed to other sports.”