Falcons Tennis Rivals From Both Sides of the Fence

The bright lights and big crowds are nothing new for Perry Meridian’s own Nathan Orme. As an assistant coach and former player for the Falcons men’s tennis team, Orme has had his fair share of rivalry battles against the Southport Cardinals.

“There was one [match] in particular at Perry I remember people were just lined up around the fence…people who were cheering for us and against us, it was just a cool atmosphere,” said Orme whilst reminiscing about some of the fond memories of his many matches against Southport. 

For Orme, being a player will always be special for him as he feels he had a more direct impact on the outcome of the match, but there is still no love lost as he gets amped up to help coach his team in the competition against the cross-town rivals.

Even after many years of competing against Southport, the nerves never fail to flow in. However, he now uses his experiences to help teach his players how to handle themselves in these big moments.

“Rivalry matches are odd because you want the guys to get up for them, you want them to have extra juice for it but you don’t want them to forget the things they do well,” said Orme, breaking down how to handle nerves in a big match. 

“We tell them there is specific things they know they can control that have nothing to do with the other team so that’s what we will tell them to focus on,” said Orme describing his approach to mentally preparing the players ahead of the matchup.

Orme looks to tally up another win against Southport in the Sept. 8 match: Battle of the Birds. The Falcons hope to push their record to a withstanding 8 to 4, a conference-best, after the match.