Fransesc Gallart is constantly surprised by how big the United States is.
Gallart, a junior exchange student from Catalunya, Spain, is studying at Peninsula High School and playing for the tennis team.
“You have to go by car everywhere here,” Gallart said. “In Spain, we just walk everywhere.”
One thing that is not a surprise is Gallart’s proficiency on the tennis court. Despite showing up a week late to practice, Gallart immediately became the team’s best singles player. Last week, Gallart took third in the Class 3A South Puget Sound League tournament, and is hoping to earn a state tournament berth.
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“I think I played like I used to play,” Gallart said. “I think in some games, I could’ve played better. I have to work more.”
He’ll be joined in the West Central District tournament by sophomore teammate Quinlan Rogers, who took sixth in the league singles tournament. Rogers played doubles most of the season but wanted to switch about halfway through. His coaches allowed the change.
“I just wanted to try something new,” he said. “In my first match, I started winning, and now I ended up at districts.”
Rogers knows he’ll face stiff competition in the district tournament, which starts Friday (Oct. 30) at Sprinker Tennis Center in Tacoma.
“I know I’m going to be playing a lot of tough players,” Rogers said. “I just have to go out there and do my best, stay positive and work as hard as I can.”
Whether he makes the state tournament this year or not, Rogers has state on his “to-do” list during his high school tennis career.
“It’d be really cool to make it,” he said.
Gallart will turn his focus to basketball after tennis season ends. He isn’t too familiar with the Peninsula program, but he’s heard about JaQuori McLaughlin.
“I know there’s one guy that is really good,” Gallart said.
Gallart hopes he can make an impact for the Seahawks, too.
“I stopped playing soccer four years ago and started playing basketball,” he said. “I think I’m better in basketball.”