When you hear certain sounds, you just know you’re at a tennis match.
At a Springfield Lasers match, there’s one sound that’s hard to miss.
“If the music is good, then people get engaged, if the music is not good then you need a fan like that to get us fired up,” said Lasers Coach John-Laffnie De Jager.
Two fans in particular always help the Lasers to do just that.
“We’ve been coming for eight years and I’ve missed one and I don’t think he’s missed any,” said Lasers fan Rick Castor.
Rick and his brother Gary have missed just one combined home match in the last eight seasons.
That’s despite Rick living in Joplin and Gary living in Carthage.
“[The drive] is better when we get here,” Rick said.
“To be able to come and see the professionals play, since we’re far enough away from the major tournaments is really nice,” Gary said.
If you’ve been to a Lasers match, you’ve probably heard Rick’s cheering.
Whether it’s supporting the players or pumping up the crowd, Rick is not shy about letting his voice, and support for the Lasers, be heard.
“I’m just trying to get one more point for the team all the time,” Rick said. “And if the other team is on our side, I make sure I’m pointed at them when I’m yelling.”
If the opponents can hear it, you can bet the Lasers do too.
“We’re very fortunate that we have a great crowd here in Springfield,” De Jager said. “We have our loyal supporters that come out every match and it’s great. It’s awesome.
Now, as the Lasers try to defend their 2018 World TeamTennis title this weekend, Rick and Gary will be watching closely and cheering loudly.
“We hope it just keeps on going, we’re counting the points,” Rick said.
Because the Lasers just aren’t quite the Lasers, without the fans sitting behind them.