Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


A Conversation with FAU Tennis’ Power Player

I met up with F.J. Schofield out at the tennis courts before the men’s practice as the girl’s team was winding down with their match volley drills. F.J., a Senior Biological Sciences major, is an easy going guy, so much so that he didn’t even mind a Lady Owl interrupting us with a question about a blister on her hand. “Just keep playing,” F.J. recommended. “It’ll be alright.”

F.J. Schofield has won seven straight singles matches for the FAU Tennis team improving his record to 13-5 on the season. He’s finished second in the last the team’s last two meetings with Webber International and Indiana State University. The team is currently at 5-7 since the start of the spring season. One of Schofield’s goals is to finish the season out with a winning team record. Unlike the pros, college tennis teams win and lose together. Everybody has to win to have the team be successful. Teamwork plays a greater part in college tennis. After five hours on the court, F.J. says, the more the team pushes each other, the more successful they are.

Pump: You seem to be a calm dude, but have you ever yelled at ref?Schofield: No, I try and be respectful. In college, though, you make your own calls. So if my opponent calls ‘in’ what I thought was out, we might have a few words. Two referees rotate around. If they see you’re having a clean match, they’ll move on. If they see a lot of altercations in a match, they’ll stick around that one.

Pump: If they made a tennis movie about you, who do you want to play you?Schofield: Well, Mel Gibson. He’s old, though, I don’t know if he could pull it off. But since I saw Braveheart, he’s my favorite actor.

Pump: What are you personal goals for your game this year?Schofield: The last two years I’ve focused on preparation. Being sure I’m in shape and ready to play.

Pump: What specifically?Schofield: Lots of match play – scrimmaging basically. On court sprints, suicides, making sure my legs are strong.

Pump: Talk about the difference between concrete, grass, and clay.Schofield: I haven’t played on clay in five or six years. Played on grass once. But grass is much faster and the ball doesn’t bounce as much. Clay is slower – you slide, so your movement is different. You have to think about that.

Pump: Talk about the instant you know you should turn a volley into a kill.Schofield: I look for a short or weak ball where I can move in (to the net). Angles are created and the distance is shorter. It opens up opportunities. With a weak ball I can get all my weight behind it and crush it.

Pump: Favorite player growing up? Schofield: Agassi – he plays like me from the baseline – lots of power plays. He has similar style to me and he is a lot of fun to watch.

Pump: What did you think of his “dating Streisand” episode?Schofield: I didn’t even know about that.

Pump: Do you tape your racket, use a silencer?Schofield: I use lead tape on my grip. Lets you go through the ball quicker, more momentum to your swing. It also gives me more spin and power.

Pump: What’s the difference between playing singles and doubles?Schofield: It’s a mental difference. With doubles obviously there’s someone else out there. You have to handle another person’s mistakes a lot more. There’s also more time at the net. The serve/return importance is amplified. You have to find someone with good chemistry to play with.

Pump: Any shout outs to FAU students?Schofield: I guess my roommates Dave Wilkinson and Ryan Trembley. They played FAU Rugby with my brother, that’s how we met.

Pump: If you were at, say, an FAU football or baseball game as a fan, would you consider wearing a red and blue afro-wig to show your support?Schofield: I guess.

End of March and early April provide some great opportunities to see both the Men’s and Women’s Tennis Team in action. As always, check www.fausports.collegesports.com for more details and get your red and blue FAU Supporter afro-wig from www.bestwigoutlet.com. Pump suggests the XXL.

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