Switch to tennis pays off for Central’s Bromley

Central's Matt Bromley returns a volley during a recent practice at W.O. Riley Park in Woodstock. The senior will be challenging for the team's No. 1 singles spot this season. Rich Cooley/Daily

WOODSTOCK – Matt Bromley used to play baseball, but after realizing that Central had a tennis team he decided to play that instead. Two years later he and the rest of the Central boys tennis team are very happy with his choice.

Bromley said he moved to the area from Rhode Island in sixth grade and had played tennis there, but didn’t realize Central had a team until his sophomore year.

“I decided to join and it was probably my best sports decision in high school,” Bromley said.

Bromley, who also plays football at Central, said he learned how to play from his aunt and a cousin who live in Rhode Island and play for their club team and play in United States Tennis Association tournaments.

The senior played at the No. 6 singles spot for Central his sophomore year, and said that was a good learning season for him.

Last year with a young and inexperienced squad Bromley moved up to the No. 2 singles spot.

“It was a very big jump going from six to two,” Bromley said. “It was more competition, better tennis too. I feel like I did fairly well last year, but there were some things I could have learned sophomore year that would have helped that jump. But it’s where we were at and I was up to the task.”

Central coach Luke Robinson said that Bromley did very well at the No. 2 spot and had a winning record.

Robinson said that Bromley’s competitiveness and his athletic ability helped him succeed last year.

“I think coming from football and playing other sports he kind of has the mentality of an athlete,” Robinson said. “So he was ready to take on the challenge. He did a great job.”

Bromley said he learned a lot last year from Central’s No. 1 player Aaron Taff, who graduated last June.

He said he’s played in the offseason with Taff some as well and they are constantly trying to help each other to improve their games.

Bromley said he tried to play more in the offseason this year as he hopes to play at the No. 1 spot for Central this season.

“I feel like I’m ready (for the No. 1 spot),” Bromley said. “I put in work this summer playing with Aaron Taff a lot this summer and just hitting with the guys now and then. I’d come down on the weekend and hit and play just trying to prepare myself for potentially the top spot.”

As far as his game goes, Bromley said he’s more of a baseliner and that’s where he’s most comfortable on the court. He said his favorite shot to hit is the crosscourt forehand.

Robinson said Bromley’s biggest strength on the court is his speed.

“He can get to any ball on the court no mater where it is,” Robinson said. “Even when I’ve played him before I’ll hit a nice drop shot or a nice volley and think I’ve won the point and he’s there. That comes from being an athlete. (Former Central standout) Sam Barbour is the same way. He’d run anything down. I love that too, because they have that competitive drive and they’re going to get to any ball no mater what. Again it’s just having that mentality of I’m going to win. He’s going to fall, do whatever he has to do to get to the ball.”

Central made the regional tournament two years ago. The Falcons struggled last season and lost in the Conference 35 tournament finals to 15-time state champion George Mason.

Bromley said he feels goods about this year’s team, which has three seniors.

“I want to redeem ourselves and make it to regionals for both the team and the singles and doubles tournaments as well,” Bromley said. “If we can make it to regionals or a level past I would be very happy and pleased with our season.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com