As Lewisburg’s Carter Casmir walked off the court to end the 2016 District 4 Tennis Singles Championships he immediately set a goal for himself.
The goal was not a return to the championship match, but a return and win in the championship match. The runner-up finish haunted Casmir throughout the offseason, providing plenty of motivation to continue his hard work.
Last Monday, Casmir’s yearlong journey ended the same way he pictured it in his mind as he walked off the court—a win.
Casmir defeated Central Columbia’s John Duncan, the No. 2 seeded competitor in the tournament, 6-1 6-2 to claim the District’s top individual tennis award. Casmir cruised through the tournament, winning matches quickly and always looking more focused than the opposition.
“It gave me a goal,” Casmir said. “It motivated me a lot. I was really focused. I had a hard time concentrating in school. All I could think about were the matches.”
Casmir arrived at the West Branch Tennis Club just about an hour before the tournament chair arrived. He spent his time getting ready and blowing off extra energy.
As the competitors and officials arrived at the club for the final matches of the tournament, Casmir was leaving the court with a forehead dripping sweat. The intense warm-up sessions didn’t seem to bother him at all.
“I spent 20 minutes warming up and getting ready to go,” Casmir said. “I didn’t play at all Sunday and wanted to get here early and make sure everything felt good. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to screw anything up.”
His first match was a perfect example of the mental toughness he possesses. Casmir dominated the No. 4 seed in the tournament. He moved shots around the court, got his first serve over in most instances, and charged the net for timely drops to the corners of the court.
He won the semifinal match 6-0 6-1, barely breaking a sweat. Once done with the semifinals, Casmir quickly moved back to his chair to settle in and play some games on his phone. The intense competitor on the court seemed to disappear as a calm washed over Casmir.
Once the other semifinal contest was finished, Casmir quickly switched gears to complete his goal.
“I’ve been thinking about this since the start of the season,” Casmir said. “It’s been my top goal.”
Casmir moved shots around the court and once again looked like the better player. The pressure of qualifying for States wasn’t even an issue as both the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds out of the district advanced with their respective semifinal wins.
Casmir wasn’t going to be satisfied with the chance to compete at Hershey. He wanted the District 4 gold and it showed. He rarely would display emotion unless it was directed at himself.
With the expectations of the No. 1 seed looming large, Casmir delivered what he set out to do almost a year ago to the day. He completed his run and earned the gold at the end of the road.
“I was definitely nervous coming into the match,” Casmir said. “There was more pressure on me this year since I was the No. 1 seed. I knew I was going to have tough matches this year.”
Much like his emotions on the court, Casmir rarely displayed any nerves going through the District 4 field despite being worked up. He was cool throughout the entire two-day tournament and reached the ultimate goal at the end for his efforts.