The pair combined to form the No. 1 doubles team at Neenah High School and finished the season 24-11, winning the Fox Valley Association and Oshkosh sectional titles, going 2-2 in the Division 1 individual state meet and tying for seventh place after being seeded No. 8. For their efforts, Brooks and Juneau were named first team all-state. The duo also went 2-1 at the Division 1 team state meet. It was the third year in a row the pair earned all-conference honors. Brooks and Juneau defeated 10 teams throughout the season who qualified for the individual state tournament.
Family: Dad, David; mom, Barbara; brother, Bobby; sisters, Abby and Chrissy.
Family: Dad, Bob; mom, Susan; brothers, Tom and Pat; sisters, Katie and Jenny.
You had a different playing partner in the past. How did things come together for you two this season?
Brooks: “I think me and Juneau really wanted to win the conference. We worked hard in practice, listened to our coaches and just played hard.”
Juneau: “Matt and I played together sophomore year and we were friends before, so we had a little history together. Last year I played with John Price. This year it was just finding that connection again.”
You guys have quite the tradition at Neenah. What is it like playing in such a prestigious program and for coach Tom Berven?
Brooks: “It’s just an honor to play for such a good coach. He’s been here a while and he just knows how to win. One of the big things is you have to have fun while you’re playing, whether you win or lose.”
Juneau: “We all love it. It’s a real honor. Everyone who comes on the team knows that. It’s kind of intimidating for the jayvee players. It probably feels overwhelming. He’s been doing it for quite a while and we try to uphold the legacy that has been left behind.”
How old were you when you started playing tennis and when did you realize that you were pretty good?
Brooks: “I used to play when I was really little when I was like 6. Then I stopped at fifth grade. I played soccer. I picked it back up again freshman year and realized I liked it and wanted to get back into it. Scott Meixle helped me tremendously. He was a good coach and helped me pick up tennis when I was younger.”
Juneau: “I’m not sure. I know I started out at the beginners at Neenah Parks and Rec. Probably age 6. I’m sure I held a racket before then. I was in tournaments every week, just getting crushed in the first round. I kept working at it. I realized I was pretty good in middle school and was getting invited to a lot of invitations. I went with my USTA team (age 12 or 13) to Indianapolis. That was pretty exciting. I’ve always been working hard at it.”
What makes tennis fun?
Brooks: “I just think being on the doubles team, volleying and getting up to the net is just awesome. It’s a good time on the court.”
Juneau: “I don’t know, just being out there. In singles it’s a lonely sport. It’s kind of you against you. In doubles, which is what I prefer, it is faster paced and you have a partner. You can’t get mad at him for making mistakes because you will probably make that same mistake later on.”
What is the strength of your game?
Brooks: “I think I’m a pretty good volleyer and good at poaching and staying up there at the net and putting down some shots.”
Juneau: “I would say it’s my serve and coming into the net.”
What’s next for you in tennis?
Brooks: “I think I’m going to be playing at Oshkosh.”
Juneau: “I will keep up with it in life, but won’t be playing competitively.”
What college will you be attending? Will you play tennis? What will you be studying?
Brooks: “I’ll be going into pre-med (at UW-Oshkosh). One of my goals is my dad is a doctor and I’d like to follow in his footsteps. That would be awesome.”
Juneau: “I’m going to the University of Vermont next year. I was accepted to the college of business administration.”
If you could attend one of the four majors, which one would it be and why?
Brooks: “I think it’d be the U.S. Open. I’d be with all the good USA players and still be in our country, too.”
Juneau: “Wimbledon, because it has such a (great) legacy. It’s THE grand slam, at least in my eyes.
What was your favorite class at Neenah?
Brooks: “I’d have to say AP Bio. I learned a lot of cool dissections and we had a great teacher as well in Mrs. (Dianne) Pacolt. She really got me into science.”
Juneau: “I would say AP Human Geography.”
Other than tennis, what do you do for fun?
Brooks: “I do like to play soccer. I played soccer in high school. I like to go fishing and being outdoors.”
Juneau: “When there is snow on the ground, I snowboard and when there isn’t snow on the ground, I longboard. I also like to hang out with friends.”
What is your favorite meal prepared by mom?
Brooks: “That’s a tough one. I would have to say roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy with vegetables. You can’t beat that.”
Juneau: “She makes a great pesto pasta. We grow basil in our garden at home, so it’s always fresh.”
What’s on your ipod?
Brooks: “I like to listen to a lot of Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson.”
Juneau: “G. Love, some Phish and Pretty Lights.”
Court of opinion
Tom Berven, Neenah tennis coach: “They had a super, super year. Matt Brooks’ physicality on the court is second to none. He had the quickest hands I’ve ever seen. He literally could take over some matches. He just dominated. His partner, Andrew Juneau, is a steady consistent doubles player. He played his best tennis at the end of the year. They had great chemistry between them. They were the two key leaders who helped our team throughout the year. They led our party at the net. That’s a saying we have. You have to be aggressive to be a good doubles player. Matt was our hammer and Andrew was the wedge. He would set up the points for him. They knew each other’s capabilities and each other’s strengths and played to each other’s strengths as well.”