First Posted: 12/19/2009
While racking up four state championships during his high school career at Mount Airy, William John made it look simple. When he first stepped on the court for a collegiate match, he realized that nothing comes easy.
But with three seasons under his belt, John, a senior, is looking to make the most of his final season at UNC-Greensboro beginning Feb. 6.
As a junior, John went 10-11 overall and 8-10 in dual action, including 4-6 in Southern Conference play. In singles, he played either 4, 5 or 6. He was also apart of a formidable No. 2 doubles team. When coupled with Andrey Bubnov, the duo went 4-1 and ripped off four straight wins. Overall, John went 8-15 in doubles matches.
When he arrived in Greensboro, John was one of the most if not the most decorated athletes in Mount Airy history. John won four state championships as a Granite Bear. He was the singles state champ in 2004 and 2005. In 2005 and 2006, his teams won state championships. Mount Airy Athletic Director Donald Price said earlier this month that William John had the most state titles of anyone he had known of in at least the past 17 years.
Once he arrived at DI UNC-G, John realized he was playing a different game.
Its a huge difference, he said. In college, I first realized theres no easy matches. Every match is a battle and nothing comes easy. In high school, you get easy matches here and there.
Ive gained so much experience through all that. Its been a great learning experience.
One of the biggest obstacles John had to overcome was how to deal with a loss, considering he rarely suffered them at Mount Airy.
It was tough, especially from a mental aspect, he said. In high school, there was a whole lot of matches we won. In my first two years in college, I lost a lot. Its just really important to learn from those matches, to better myself for the next match and the match after that. By the time I got to my junior year, I figured out a lot about my game and what I need to work on to build on my abilities.
John said that he has continued to work so that he can make the biggest contributions I can, have a good overall season for myself and for the team.
The Spartans took third in the SoCon last season and return more than a few players from that squad.
John said he went to UNC-G because they gave him the best offer. Johns scholarship is a partial one for athletics, although he is an excellent student. He was named to the SoCons Academic Honor Roll last school year.
Scott John, Williams father, played four years of tennis for the Spartans, but William said that had no effect on his choosing the school. In fact, William, a biology major, is carrying on a family tradition down in Greensboro.
It wasnt like I initially planned to go there, William said. The UNC-G coach contacted me and he offered me a scholarship to play there and it was better than what the other schools offered. Its just funny that its the same place my dad went and my mom happened to go there.
The John family still has ties to Mount Airy High School as well. Williams younger brother, Nick, has won three state titles in tennis. This season, the Granite Bears bring back almost their entire team, meaning Nick has a good shot to best his brothers four titles.
William and Nick have a friendly competition as to who will end up with the most titles.
Its kind of a joke, you know? William said. I guess by the time he graduates well be counting our rings. Its kind of a little family competition.
William went on to say that, I want to see him do the best he can. However, he added that at the moment, Its kind of nice having that one extra ring than he does.
Contact Ed Phillipps at [email protected] or 719-1921.