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Adamson raises game for Corona del Mar (corrected)

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Junior singles player has stood out this season for Sea Kings, ranked No. 2 in CIF Division 1.

April 12, 2012|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(Scott Smeltzer…)

Alec Adamson showed up at Corona del Mar High two years ago in August wanting to try out for its strong boys' tennis program.

The first match of the season was six months away.

Adamson wanted to get a hold of Coach Brian Ricker that early. When he did, he told him about himself.

He had just moved into the area from Hinsdale, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. As a sophomore Adamson had never played tennis as a freshman at his first high school, Hinsdale Central. A stress fracture in his right shoulder sidelined him for 10 months.

Ricker wasn't sure what to think of Adamson's chances of making the team. He usually has an idea what the team's makeup will be well before the spring season starts.

At the time, Ricker was in girls' season mode as the team began play in the fall. He still made time for Adamson, inviting him out to see him in action with a racquet.

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"Rankings don't lie," said Ricker, who first checked to see where Adamson stood in the United States Tennis Assn. Midwest-Chicago rankings. "He was No. 75 in the 14s in that region."

Adamson was now in a new region, a much more competitive one. In Southern California, players, for the most part, don't have to worry about snow. They check those conditions when they're snowboarding.

Adamson looked forward to not having to battle the weather. He grew up outside Chicago. The humidity in the summer forced him to change regularly. The snow in the winter forced him to play indoors.

Here, near the beach, he could work on his game and compete outside all year round. Ricker gave him a shot to play with the Sea Kings after hitting with Adamson.

After one season, Adamson has turned into one of the Sea Kings' top singles players.

Adamson first had to get rid of all the trick shots.

"He would sit on the baseline and just play defense," Ricker said. "It works, but he's not going to beat the best doing that. He had to learn to hit through the ball, get to the net and finish."

Adamson is charging the net more often now and the Sea Kings (12-2, 4-1 in Pacific Coast League) are benefiting as they're No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 poll.

Since last season, Adamson has grown five inches and stands at 6-foot-2. Ricker jokes that Adamson looked like he weighed less than 100 pounds last season because he was so skinny. He has gained weight, getting to 145.

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