Comings and goings, one last time
Three years ago, Camille Jania of Scarborough and Chris Morrison of Falmouth were part of one of the most talented freshman classes to hit Maine high school tennis.
Jania won the state singles title and Morrison got to the quarterfinals.
Now, after two years of seeking stiffer competition, Jania is returning to the Red Storm for one last fling as a senior.
But Morrison has decided not to compete for the Yachtsmen in his senior year.
Their divergent paths shed light on different aspects of the role athletics play in the high school educational experience.
"Tennis is a very individual sport," Jania said. "Usually you play for yourself. So being part of a team pumps me up."
"Iīve been really fortunate to be part of three really great teams," Morrison said. "But I knew in my heart to take a spot at the top of the lineup and not have my heart in it wouldnīt be fair. It would be pretty selfish."
Both are excellent students, among the top 10 percent of their classes. She will play for Harvard. Heīs leaning toward Dartmouth but Amherst is also a possibility.
Since cruising through her freshman season, dropping only one game, Jania focused on national and international tournaments. She reached the quarterfinals of the national clay-court championships last July in Memphis, Tenn., beating a pair of top-10 players, and ended the year ranked 70th nationally among girls 18 and under.
TennisRecruiting.net rated Jania the ninth-best high school senior in the country. Notre Dame and Vanderbilt offered scholarships and Yale accepted her, but she chose Harvard.
"Sheīs a unique talent," said Scarborough Coach Lincoln MacIsaac. "I think itīs nice for her going out on this note. Our kids will be better for it, and I think she will, too."
Jania said sheīs happy to help teammates with tips, drills or feedback, but wants to be careful not to step on any toes.
"They can utilize me as much as they want during practices," she said. "I donīt want to overdo it. I want to be a team player. I donīt want to be a coach."
Jania isnīt making any predictions about how sheīll fare this spring, only that sheīll treat each match as if she were playing a nationally ranked opponent.
"You canīt let down your competitive level," she said. "Itīs disrespect toward the opponent and toward your goal."
After playing No. 1 as a freshman, Morrison was second singles as a sophomore and junior, both culminating in Class B team titles. There are some plans this spring, such as attending his older sisterīs graduation from college and enjoying a family vacation to Europe, that would have caused him to miss important team matches.
"I definitely went into it thinking Iīd be playing all four years," he said, "but circumstances change. Priorities get shifted around. Iīm really grateful to have had the opportunity to play for a team as successful and enjoyable as Falmouth is ... and I didnīt want to be a distraction."
Morrison said Falmouth has talented younger players who are more deserving and hungrier for a spot.
"I have enjoyed high school tennis," he said. "Itīs educational in a way the classroom canīt be."
Morrison outlined the reasons for his decision in a letter to Coach Bob McCully a few weeks before practice began.
"Iīm disappointed ... but I respect his decision," McCully said. "Itīs part of growing up. Itīs not (a choice) I would have made but I respect it."
Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: