Courts and Coffee with Coach Amurao…at 6:30 a.m.

Coaching at Poly since 2020, Varsity Tennis Coach Jeff Amurao has led both the Girls’ and Boys’ tennis teams to numerous victories this season.  Since his academic years, Amurao has been competing at a high level, and tennis has grown to be an enormous part of his daily life, so much so, he said, his days would feel lacking without it. 

Amurao said he starts his day off bright and early at 6:30 a.m. I don’t really need an alarm,” he said. “I’ve always been more of a morning person. Tennis and I spend a lot of the day together. I’ll usually watch some match footage on YouTube in the morning before heading out to Poly. I’m on my computer with my cup of coffee right after I wake up, and then I’m coaching players pretty much all day long, so by the time team practice rolls around, I’ve already been hitting for hours. I really never get tired of tennis, but by the end of the day, I’m generally pretty worn out, so I almost always fall asleep before midnight.”

Because of COVID, Poly has made a few alterations to our campus, notably the addition of lunch tents occupying three of the tennis courts. The team has had to adapt to the circumstances and new practice schedule.

“It can be a challenge at times, but half the courts are better than no courts right? Similar to the girls’ season, we’ve had to adjust the JV and Varsity practice schedules, and we’ve managed,” Amurao said. “It hasn’t been perfect or optimal, but we’ve made it work. But I would very much like to get back all of the courts.”

Amurao and the boys tennis team have maintained a positive attitude even after the newfound adjustments. The team has persevered despite losing half of their courts and has fought hard to make the most of it.

Currently in his first ‘normal’ Boys’ Varsity season since joining Poly’s athletic department, Amurao reflected on his season so far:“The regular season and playoffs are over for us now, and we are turning our focus towards a possible NYSAIS berth and also the Mayor’s Cup. We stand at 8-4, which is a reasonable record. That said, I think the team understands that we had the potential to go deep into the Ivy Tournament. We had our chances but we didn’t execute when we had to, and that was that. But we’ve definitely established ourselves as a dangerous team and we will be back next season. We’ve learned. And we will be more prepared for the moment the next time it comes around.”

Holding a respectable four more wins than losses this season, Amurao sees much potential for future seasons and holds his players to the highest standards. 

“This is a team with a ton of talent. I expect that those who are not graduating this year will find a way next season to fully harness that talent in the service of an inspired run of tennis,” he said. “And if we’re able to get a berth in the singles and doubles at NYSAIS this season, my players will be very motivated. At some point in the near future, I expect that we will get it done.”