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Troy's Forman looking to take that next step WITH PHOTO GALLERY

  • Troy sophomore Steven Forman hits a backhand during his team's match against Bloomfield Hills a few weeks ago. Forman defeated Josh Mukherjee, a state semifinalist at No. 1 singles a year ago. Forman has asserted himself as a major player in Division 1 this fall. (MIPrepZone photo by Jason Schmitt)
  • Steven Forman's only loss this year came to Northville's Connor Johnston - widely considered the best player in the state of Michigan. (MIPrepZone photo by Jason Schmitt)
  • Steven Forman walks up to get his semifinalist medal at last year's Division 1 state tournament in Midland. (MIPrepZone photo by Jason Schmitt)
  • Playing No. 2 singles for the Colts, Steven Forman reached the state semifinals before falling in three, tough sets to Port Huron Northern's Chris Adams. (MIPrepZone photo by Jason Schmitt)
  • Steven Forman has a 34-5 varsity record in 1+ years at Troy, including an 8-1 mark this year. He was 26-4 last season. (MIPrepZone photo by Jason Schmitt)
  • Troy's Steven Forman has played tennis, golf, basketball, travel baseball and soccer over the years, but he said tennis has become his favorite sport. (MIPrepZone photo by Jason Schmitt)
  • Eyes wide shut. Steven Forman still got the shot back during his match against Bloomfield Hills' Josh Mukherjee. (MIPrepZone photo by Jason Schmitt)

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TROY — Having been an athlete most of his life, Steven Forman understands the ups and downs of sports. He’s experienced the high of winning.

And he’s experienced the low of a tough loss.

On May 29, he suffered one of those losses. It hurt. But it also sparked something inside him.

The Troy sophomore was playing in a Southeastern Michigan Tennis Association qualifying tournament. He dropped the match. He wasn’t happy with his performance. He knew he could have performed better. He just had to re-dedicate himself to the sport.

Forman is a multi-sport athlete. He plays No. 1 singles for the Colts’ top-10 ranked tennis team. He is also one of the school’s best varsity golfers. Up until last year, he was also among the best in his grade on the basketball court. And his family owns Troy Lanes, so he’s a pretty good bowler as well.

“Playing other sports has allowed me to take a break from tennis without becoming bored or anxious to get back on the court,” said Forman, who finished among the top four in the state at No. 2 singles in 2014. “Playing varsity golf this spring gave me about a three month break, which hurt me a lot in the short term, but made me motivated to improve as much as I could and make up for that time missed.”

Forman had made the tough decision to leave basketball to give both tennis and golf more of his time. He realized that spending so much time over the winter months on the basketball court would cut into his time on the tennis court.

“I still wanted to play golf and basketball, but knew I would miss almost six months of tennis if I did both,” he said. “The timing was the sole reason I quit basketball and played golf. I decided I would play and train as much as I could from August until March and then use the golf season as a break before starting up again for the summer USTA tournaments.”

Forman said tennis has become his favorite sport. That became evident after last year’s high school season. He helped lead his team to a top-3 finish at the Division 1 state finals. He, along with senior Michael Faber – the team’s No. 2 player – are looking to help their team improve upon that finish in 2015.

“Steve has improved dramatically from last year, he has become an all court player,” Troy head coach Brian Miska said. “He's not afraid to come forward anymore. Also, mentally he is much more stable and never gets too high or too low, which he sometimes has struggled with in the past. It's been fun to see him mature as a player and person.”

Miska, a tennis teaching professional himself, said it’s difficult to become a high-level player in any sport if an athlete is not training year-round.

“Unfortunately, it’s not easy,” Miska said. “Steve has been an exception by being able to excel greatly while playing two sports. It takes a special kid to do that.”

Forman did begin to play more tennis over the winter, and after his spring golf season, he picked up where he had left off. He spent at least one session a week working with his club professional, Chris Shaya, and hit regularly with fellow area high school players Alex Matisse, Hunter Li, Oliver Li, Andrew Zhang and Benji Jacobson this summer.

That hard work has paid off. He has already beaten Bloomfield Hills’ Josh Mukerjee this season and his lone loss was to Northville’s Connor Johnston – widely considered the best player in the state.

“Twelve months ago, I had obvious weaknesses and inconsistent strengths, which made my results very unpredictable,” Forman said. “Now I feel comfortable with my entire game and can rely on my strengths when I need to. I also understand my game, what people try to do to beat me, and how to react to different styles of opponents.”

Miska believes Forman has a chance to accomplish some big things before his time is up at Troy.

“I think he has a lot to prove still,” Miska said. “There are a lot of players that have been in the spotlight for a long time, Steve knows he has to earn that honor, but I have little doubt he won't distinguish himself as one of the state’s best.

“Steve can be as good as he wants to be. He has all the tools. If he continues to work hard, no doubt he can be a state champion for Troy High.”

Last Updated: 9/14/2015 4:44:54 PM EST

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