Putting the “Foc” in Focus


Madeline Roller

Conner Fochasato (’18) assists the Boys Varsity Tennis Team by winning his match against Standwood. In the end, the Eagles win.

October 11, 2016

It’s been a new year for Eagles boys’ tennis. After a dismal 5-9 season in 2015, Arlington used major improvements from a fully returned varsity squad to tie for second in Wesco at 12-4, having lost just one senior after last year’s campaign. The team has found a new groove, and its focal point has been junior Conner Fochesato (‘18). In only his second year on varsity. Conner, or as he’s infamously known on the courts, “The Foc,” made a massive leap from swing player – fourteenth on the tennis team last season – to a solid number four player, epitomizing the Eagles’ rejuvenated record in one individual stretch of talent and endurance.

When I asked The Foc about his recent accomplishments, he demonstrated his humility and ambition at once. “I just had a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “I wanted to prove to everyone that I can play a top spot.” And play a top spot he did, finishing off the season Tuesday, October 11, with a 10-6 record against tough opponents. However, anything of value in life doesn’t come easy.

Second-year coach Ben Mendro was overflowing with praise for his developing star. “Conner just did a lot of work in the offseason to make him a better player . . . I think he can hit with more power, with a little bit more powerful of a serve.” He says Fochesato should be a monument for younger players to admire. “Look at how he took the initiative to improve himself. He didn’t make assumptions that he’d magically improve . . . had to put work in.”

So, what did “The Foc” do to improve so radically? “Over summer, I wanted to focus on tennis. I took lessons with Kim Somerville, a local tennis pro. Tennis was never easy to understand until those lessons.” He was willing to forego his precious free time in the summer to pursue a sport of his desire, a place where he dreamed of improvement and future glory. In his own words, “First off, state’s the goal.” Like everything else, though, Conner knows it won’t come easy. “I’m gonna have to work a lot again this summer.”

Junior Varsity coach Shelley Lima, standing nearby, overheard our interview and couldn’t resist chiming in on Fochesato’s behalf. “He’s the sweetest player – deferential, congratulatory of his opponents. He’s always offering to help.” Obviously, Fochesato is more than just a competitor. He’s an upstanding citizen of Arlington High. “Oh, yeah,” said Lima, “Conner is the ultimate role model.”