With 37 CIF Southern Section championships between the boys and girls programs, San Marino High School tennis players are well known for their talents on the court, but the United States Tennis Association recognizes a few Titans for a different trait.
SMHS graduate Devon Jack and current senior Bryce Pereira were among 32 athletes nationwide recently selected to the USTA Leadership Team, an honor that recognizes junior tennis players for their character, leadership and sportsmanship on and off the court.
“These players truly are role models who exhibit character well beyond their years, both on the tennis court and in the community,” USTA’s Director of Junior Tournaments Bill Mountford said in a statement. “We’re happy to have a way to give them some of the recognition they truly deserve with the USTA Junior Leadership Team.”
San Marino tennis coach Melwin Pereira was not expecting two local standouts to be honored by the USTA because of the school’s small size.
“I have two players from my school getting it,” said Melwin, who is Bryce’s father. “It’s amazing because we’re a small school. You have other very good tennis programs and much bigger schools. I’m very happy for both of them. Devon is a good person and deserves it. They both deserve it. I think they’re both good representatives of San Marino and junior tennis.”
Jack recently concluded her freshman campaign at Brown University and recorded 18 singles victories and 10 doubles wins. She helped the San Marino girls’ program capture two CIF-SS titles and was named an All-American twice by the National High School Tennis All-American Foundation during her tenure at the school.
“Devon has been a tremendous addition to our program at Brown,” Bears women’s tennis coach Paul Wardlaw said in a statement. “Her contagious spirit and competitive attitude allow her to excel on court, but I am most impressed with Devon as a teammate and team member. She really understands that college tennis is bigger than her, relates well with her peers, and daily makes her teammates better in practice.”
Pereira is a five-star recruit who will play for UCLA in the fall. He recently captured the Ojai CIF Doubles championship for a second consecutive year and will compete in the CIF-SS playoffs this week.
“He’s a good kid, and I’m very proud of him,” Melwin said of his son. “Over the years, he’s been a little shy, but he really grew to become a good leader. I think he learned a lot from players like James Wade and Ryan Cheng. He knows all of the boys, and they look up to him.”