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As a most fitting end to a superb season, Harvard's tennis team elected junior Clarke Kawakami, one of the most representative members of a spirited, resilient squad, as its captain for next season.
A hard-working, determined competitor, Kawakami captained his freshman team two years ago, but had trouble breaking into the varsity lineup throughout his sophomore season. Although he lettered he seemed destined for a reserve role this spring as well, but when sophomore six-man Chris Nielsen reinjured a bad wrist, Kawakami moved in at both number six singles and second doubles, where he paired with sophomore Bill Washauer.
As one of two juniors on the regular singles ladder, Kawakami figured to have an outside chance at the captaincy, but his lack of varsity experience seemed to turn the odds against him.
"I had given some thought to the possibility," Kawakami said after the election, "but there were several other people who might have gotten it who really deserved it. I knew that they don't always elect juniors, and there was a large group of returning sophomores who all could have made fine captains."
"Clarke improved his game quite a bit this spring," says coach Jack Barnaby, "and he's showed he's ready for a regular spot on the singles ladder. He's always had a fine shot, but his frequent errors used to cancel it out. This year, he cut the mistakes to a minimum, and as a result, matured greatly as a tennis player."
Kawakami's teammate, senior Rocky Jarvis, was awarded the Jack Barnaby Trophy, given annually to the member of the tennis squad who makes the most important contribution to the team.
A steady, cool and dependable singles player, "The Rock" was a fixture at the number two slot all season, and his victory over Princeton's Rick Howell was the turning point in the Crimson's 5-4 victory over the co-champion Tigers.
A native Californian, he was a natural partner for captain John Levin at first doubles, and the unit easily won the New England doubles title this spring, and lost only once during the regular season.
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