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Canyon's Tennis Star
no One-hit Wonder
May, 2010 - Issue #67
Jason Ferlianto
Jason Ferlianto
Canyon's Jason Ferlianto can't choose just one, so don't ask.

The junior loves tennis and already has a Foothill League singles title to his name.

As much as he enjoys keeping the ball between the white lines on the tennis court, Ferlianto feels the same way about moving his fingers up and down the white keys of a piano. He competes monthly to put his skills against some of top piano players in Southern California.

The 17 year old is an athlete, a musician, a volunteer, an outstanding student, and a member of several student organizations at Canyon.
It's enough to make overachievers feel pangs of inadequacy.

"I guess I'm just an ambitious person," Ferlianto says with a shrug. "I just go out and do my best. I just try everything and see how well I can do stuff."

Through all of it, tennis may be the "stuff" he does best. Ferlianto started when he was 6, and when he came to Canyon as a freshman, wasted no time in making his mark on the program. Before he played a single match of high school tennis, Ferlianto earned the No. 1 singles position.
In a league dominated by Valencia and up-and-coming West Ranch, Ferlianto more than held his own.

"He's analyzes his opponents really well," said Head Coach Kent Ganevsky, who has been his coach the last two seasons at Canyon. "He can really see out there. He has really good technique. He can put the ball where he wants it to go."

The freshman Ferlianto charged through to the league singles final against West Ranch's Jordan Hovis, who was a junior at the time.

"I was completely surprised. The Foothill League is a really tough league and I was really intimidated," Ferlianto says. "Then, one win after another, I was like, 'Is this really happening?'"
With inexperience and his racket strings against him, Ferlianto stunned Hovis and won in three games, taking the league title as a freshman.

"Jason broke three of his racket strings I think and he had to use two different strings [to fix it]," said Matt Kincaid, a senior who is the No. 2 singles player for Canyon. "Most players would break down mentally but he just kept his same stroke and won."

As a sophomore, sickness and injuries plagued Ferlianto's season, and he did not repeat. Now as a junior, he's looking for a better finish.

"I definitely want to get back and really show that I'm not just a one-hit wonder, that I really am a good tennis player," Ferlianto says. "I just want to go out there and see improvement from last year. That's really all I want to see."

The individuality of tennis is something Ferlianto likes about the sport. He thinks he gets the best of both worlds in tennis; the sport involves individual and team aspects. But the 17 year old said he likes the pressure of knowing that if a match goes poorly, he's only got himself to blame.

The same could be said for the piano, which Ferlianto has been playing about as long as he's been tackling tennis. He was recently preparing for a Bach festival where he was to play Bach's Concerto in F Minor. Like singles tennis, the performance is completely dependent on him.

Kincaid said it's his teammate's extraordinary ability to focus that has brought him so much success both on the tennis court and off.

"When he gets on the court, you can't distract him," says, Kincaid who is also co-captain with Ferlianto. "He gets his game face on, and it's no more fun and games."

Apparently, Ferlianto doesn't have enough going on between all the tennis and piano, so in his "free" time, he is president of Key Club at Canyon, a service organization. He's also an officer in California Scholarship Federation and a member of the Spanish Honor Society. On top of that, he maintains a 4.3 GPA.

Ferlianto finds time to volunteer with the animal shelter New Leash on Life and also helps out in the radiology department at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. On Sundays, he plays drums for his church and helps teach Sunday school.

Oh, we didn't mention he plays the drums?

In the fall, Ferlianto is a member of the drum line in Canyon High's marching band. When he arrived at Canyon, he wanted to try something new after growing up playing the piano, the accordion, and then the saxophone when he joined his junior high band.

"I had to pick which one I wanted. I'd been doing saxophone since seventh grade," Ferlianto says. "I still love it now, but I decided I wanted to be a little more well rounded, so I chose the drum line."

Ferlianto's list of ambitions may or may not be completely fulfilled; but it's safe to say he's got the well-rounded thing figured out.
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