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The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.
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FHNtoday.com

The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.
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FHNtoday.com

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Junior Kai Gustafson Worked to the Top of the Boys Tennis Team

Junior+Kai+Gustafson+Worked+to+the+Top+of+the+Boys+Tennis+Team
Credit to Faith Smith

This year, FHN boys tennis has a new captain on their hands. Junior Kai Gustafson has taken the reins and become the team’s number one. According to teammates, Gustafson has demonstrated all the characteristics of being a good captain such as leadership, determination, work ethic, accountability, coachability and being the most skilled on the team.

“I’ve known Kai for almost four years now,” teammate and friend Robert Silzle said. ”We met when I moved here to St. Louis and started playing tennis with him. He’s a great friend that has always been there for me and just as good of a leader being the confident voice of reasoning in the group.”

According to teammates, Gaustafson’s ability to get the team in the right mindset is one of his best characteristics and he is a pivotal part of the team’s success.

“I remember at a tournament we played at Holt, I was having a tough match,” ‘teammate and friend Beckett Silzle said. “I was getting in my head and had no motivation. Luckily, I could hear Kai on a nearby court yelling things like ‘Come on!’ among other things which, while it might’ve been motivation for him, it also encouraged me to push through my match and perform.”

Gaustafson displays his strong work ethic by always looking to get better and training outside of just practices and games.

“One of his best qualities is his determination,” Beckett said. “After every practice he’s always asking ‘you guys wanna stay a little longer’, just to get in that little bit of extra hard work.”

Through his experiences and victories, Gustafson can help mentor newer players and motivate them to work harder.

“One of his best qualities is his determination. After every practice he’s always asking ‘You guys wanna stay a little longer’, just to get in that little bit of extra hard work.” Beckett said.

Gustafson’s teammates also state that Kai is very consistent and finds ways to constantly win.

“He helps the team succeed by winning almost every single one of his matches but also motivating the team to work harder and play more,” Robert said.

When a team has a good leader like Kai, they have someone to fall back on when they are faced with adversity. Gaustafson’s competitiveness gets contagious and he inspires the rest of the team to dig deep and find a way to win.

“Even though he’s a grade below me, he’s always been better at tennis than me,” Beckett said. “It’s always helpful to have a teammate more skilled than you who’s willing to go and hit with you to learn from and improve your game.”

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