Student Athlete of the Week: Luca Bonfigli
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS)-- Luca Bonfigli understands better than anyone the pressure of tennis. Luca first picked up a racket at age 2 and by 8th grade he was enrolled in a tennis academy where he trained full time.
"I wanted to go to UCLA or UVA, it was my dream you know put it on the refrigerator but the realities of playing sports at a high level it's just intense it isn't for everyone and it wasn't for me I decided," started Monticello senior tennis player Luca Bonfigli.
After playing at such high level Luca decided to take a step back from the sport, enrolling at Monticello high school his junior year.
"I just realized I wasn't having as much fun with like the grind of playing at a competitive high level," explained Bonfigli, "But I still loved the sport and knew I wanted to play."
"We knew that building his skills and game knowledge wasn't going to be our top priority," explained Monticello tennis coach Paul Shepard, "He was a little burned out and he said that. Our goal has been to rediscover the fun of the game. What does he enjoy doing out here and let's keep that as our first goal."
In just his first year Luca played as the number 1 seed, winning singles district championship, and was state finalist in singles, but more importantly Luca regain his joy for the sport alongside 25 new teammates.
"You know I love the team," said Bonfigli, "I love being on a team and tennis can feel like such an isolated sport."
"He is such a supporter of every player," said Shepard. "We have 25 players on this team and from the kids who've never played to the kids who are near the top of our roster he really takes time with each of them and shows them that he cares."
Luca will carry on his leadership and passion for the sport to the next level, playing for the UVA club tennis team.