Scott Gerber photographed the action photos and most, but not all, of the state qualifier group photos. Interview


OTZ Interview with Mason's Mike Reid

When it is time to reflect on the Girls 2017 tennis season, there is no better place to start than to have a conversation with Mason Coach Mike Reid. Mason is the Division I OTCA Champion for this year. Coach Reid has been the coach for the Mason boys teams since 2014 (three years) and with the Mason girls since 2011 (six years).

Mike Reid
Mason's Coach Mike Reid - Click to enlarge

For the Reid family, tennis is a family affair. All five kids either played or are playing high school tennis. Christine captained the Mason Varsity B team and she is a senior at South Carolina. Sean (OHSAA States - 2014, 2015, 2016) is a sophomore at Indiana University. Nicole (OHSAA States - 2016, 2017) is a senior at Mason. Kelly is a sophomore at Mason, and Danielle is a eighth grader, who has not yet signed with any high school program. In addition to tennis, the Reid kids also played basketball. Wife and mother of the Mason tennis dynasty is Anne-Marie. Anne-Marie is the main chef of the Mason concession stand and she was an accomplished player at North Carolina State (8th in career singles and 5th in career doubles). Coach Reid attended Michigan State but played for a small Michigan college (Alma) before transferring. Coach Reid and Anne-Marie met while working as assistant coaches at University of San Diego (where the high average temperature for this month ranges from 67 to 71 degrees). Coach Reid also has several Cincinnati Senior doubles titles in the Men's 35's and 45's. In his day job, Coach Reid is the president of Home Equity Solutions.

Sean ReidNicole Reid
Mason's Sean Reid - Click to enlarge
Nicole Reid - Click to enlarge

Mason might just be a pretty good team next year, too. Coach Reid will return all but one player (daughter, Nicole) from this year's championship team. Other than Nicole, his team included only freshmen and sophomores.

How does he approach having a wealth of team talent, "I try and do my best to let them all play - and play in important matches. That keeps everyone on their toes and makes practices more spirited" ... "I don't want anybody sitting around thinking that they might not ever be able to contribute." .. "We had nearly everybody play on the Final Four Sunday [during the OTCA Tournament]" ... "I sit out my top players quite often or put them in doubles to let someone else have an opportunity to play a good player at the top [of an opponent's line-up] ."

Mason's Kelly Reid
Kelly Reid - Click to enlarge
With the top players, there is commonly angst about whether a player should participate in high school tennis or pursue a USTA-only approach. Coach Reid's take on this is, "It depends on what team that you are on and how strong the other players are on your team. Sometimes people are so focused on college tennis and they forget that what is great about college tennis is the same thing that is great about high school tennis - the camaraderie, being on a team, and other people supporting you. So to give up four years of high school tennis to get better and play college tennis is sometimes short sighted. I can understand it if you can't get better within the confines of your team because the other players aren't strong enough or your schedule isn't strong enough, but I think you give up a lot in terms of fun that you can have. I don't think the kids have as much fun going to Midland [a common USTA tournament site] and staying at the Comfort Suites as they would have with their teammates. I like to sit back and watch a bunch of kids laughing and I think that is what it is all about."

Some of the things that the kids especially enjoy on the Mason team include their one-point and round-the-world ping pong tournaments. "I give out a champ ball, which is an old ball, and I use a Sharpie to write "champ and round-the-world" and the date. It is fairly inexpensive award to give out and the kids seem to get a kick out of collecting them. And sometimes at the end of the season you might find a senior that wins her first champ ball and they don't forget that experience. It's exhilarating."

As for some of his favorite features on OhioTennisZone, Coach Reid commented, "It's great if I play a team that I don't play very much to see who their players are" ... "and what line-ups they are using." ... "I love it when you have the draws for the state team tennis tournament and the State tournament at the top of the page." ... "I like the team rankings to see where everybody is at -- it helps so much with scheduling." .. "When you have the incoming players, that is really cool, too, because again, I get to see where the good players are going and hopefully plan accordingly so that I can make the best schedule that I can." .. "I just want to play the best competition we can - every time. That's my goal - to be in the most competitive matches we can be in for the whole season."

When asked about the difference between coaching boys and the girls. Coach Reid commented, "The weather is much better for the girls. It is so much more fun to have try-outs when it is nice out instead of when it is 28-35 degrees. The boys are a little more willing to mix it up and get at it right away. The girls are sometime a bit more conversational and friendly." ... "The guys are a little bit more aggressive. but I don't think I coach any differently. I think my girls are pretty aggressive. The way we play doubles in practice - if someone gets hit - it used to be a big deal when I first started coaching but now they just laugh it off and realize that it is part of the game." ... "I have fun with both of them. To me, it's just kind of the same thing."

The first day of boys season begins on March 5 and matches begin on March 23.

Coach Reid's Twitter handle is @mikereidtennis. The Mason team handle is @MasonMensTennis.