OH boys tennis team off to best start in recent history


The 2023 Olympic Heights boys tennis team.

Midway through its 2023 campaign, the Olympic Heights boys tennis team holds an impressive 8-1 record, having won its last seven straight matches. The team’s only loss thus far came at the hands of St. Pope John Paul II Academy, 2-5 in the second match of the season.

Key to the team’s success has been the addition of junior Miles Fix and freshman Sawyer Jones, both home-schooled students who are playing in the teams numbers one and two positions respectively. In Florida, students that are home-schooled are allowed to participate in the athletic program for the public school for which they are zoned, or they can play for any private school. Both Fix and Jones are undefeated in match play this season.

The team has also retained seven of its ten players from last year, including junior Ryan Sacher and senior Ryder Gang who play in the numbers three and four positions respectively.  An indication of how much the team has improved from last year is that Gang has played in the number one position for his previous three years on the team.

A look at Fix’s Universal Tennis Ranking (UTR) also indicates how important he has been to the team’s success. The  UTR is a way to measure a tennis player’s capability. The scale goes from 1 to 16.5 points. For reference, Novak Djokovic, arguably one of the best tennis players in the world, has a UTR of 16.25. Fix has UTR of 9. Most Division I male college tennis players fall in the 8 to 12 range. 

Head Coach Jim Cappello came into the 2023 season with “high expectations this year, especially with the new additions to this team.”  The team has only fulfilled those expectations to this point, leading Cappello to believe his team has a fighting chance at defeating the two top-ranked teams, Spanish River and West Boca, something the OH squad has not done in recent history.  OH will face both of those teams the week following Spring Break.

Sacher shares his coach’s expectations stating, “I think that we have a chance to do well in districts because of [Miles and Sawyer].” Gang also believes that this year’s team “is the best that it has ever been.”