OSWEGO, NY — When deciding where to go to college, Oswego State senior tennis captain John Stanford knew playing the sport that’s been part of his life for the last decade was key.
“I knew coming to college I really wanted to play tennis and I knew coming here to the north with all the snow and everything that might hinder it a bit,” Stanford said. “So when I heard we were going to have a wonderful indoor facility, I jumped on the chance.”
Flash forward four years, and Romney Field House has provided Stanford and other Laker athletes a place to workout and practice.
“It’s special,” Stanford said.
The field house is special to the tennis team since they are the only athletic program that has the capability to practice and compete in the facility. This familiarity with the complex gives them an advantage against opponents. Junior caption Jon Matros said the unique turf surface can catch opponents off guard.
“People are used to playing on hard courts that have a higher bounce, and a lot more power on them,” Matros said. “Here we can play more defensive, because all the power comes off the ball as it comes through the grass. When I first started playing on it, I had trouble adjusting to moving my feet. Now, I’m use to it, so I can do it better.”
Matros said having access to the field house improves his fitness and tennis skills , and it is something that he does not take for granted.
“We can play all winter when teams do not even get to do that,” Matros said. “This is right across the street from us, it’s perfect.”
For Stanford, being able to play in Romney for the last four years is something he will miss when he graduates.
“Kinda just feels like home for me when I’m on a tennis court,” Stanford said. “Now I go someplace else. I just don’t feel the same. But out here I feel right at home.”
The next match for the team is Tuesday at Alfred before they return to Romney against Utica on Wednesday.