On courts 1 and 2 at Wakefield High School, brothers Jerome and Jared Smith are decked out in matching outfits, red sweat pants with green and white team shirts. Their styles are very much different, but the results are much the same. Both win handily: Jerome loses only four points and Jared wins the last seven games to break a 3-3 tie.
Further down the row of courts, two more brothers are achieving similar results for Waklefield. Brent Olson, a senior playing No. 4, vacillates between seriousness and happy-go-lucky smiles. His freshman brother Scott playing No. 6, keeps the look of intensity throughout his match, which he, too, wins easily.
The quickness of the victories -- all six singles players win in less than 55 minutes -- is not customary. The visiting team is one of the weakest in the league, but the Wakefield players go about their business with class. There are no theatrics; their manner is sportsmanlike.
At the top flight, Jerome Smith pinpoints every one of his serves without fault. Some of the serves are overpoweringly fast, others are skillfully placed and spin wildly. After setting up his opponent with a well-placed volley, he rushes the net for a tactful slam.
Jerome Smith has made tennis a greater priority than before. He attended a tennis camp in North Carolina last summer and has improved his serve and self-assurance. This year he beat Chantilly's Eric Bems, a player he lost to twice in 1984.
Smith returned slowly to tennis after his initiation in Long Island's 10-12 year-old leagues. "It was 2 1/2 years before I picked up a racket again," he said. "I'm older now, and I'm ready to play."
Freshman Jared Smith is young and ready to play. Although he lacks the refined skills of his older brother, he moves stylishly. But comparisons between the brothers are unfair, Wakefield Coach Don Tomb said. Jerome is far superior now, but Jared plays better than Jerome did at the same age.
"I help my brother out a lot," Jerome said after his match. "He's getting a lot stronger. He'll be real good."
Jerome Smith is not as familiar with his brother's play as might be expected, though. Jared moved into the area from New York just this year, and they are still getting reacquainted, and doing particularly well in anchoring Wakefield's No. 1 doubles team.
"I like being here and playing with my brother," soft-spoken Jared said. "I've lost some matches I should have won, but I just want to play the best I can."
The Olson brothers are more familiar with each other's style, both in competition and jest.
"We play a lot together and joke around quite a bit," Brent said. "I used to have a psychological edge on him, but he can beat me sometimes now."
Just how much Scott has gained on his brother is not certain. Although their games against each other are "always serious, they are never do or die," Brent said.
Brent Olson is an enigma on the Wakefield team. He has improved over the years, finally making the top six after seasons at No. 14, 11 and seven. He said his strength is "consistency, but when I see an opening I go for it. A lot of players think I'm wild because of it," he said.
Scott Olson gives the impresssion of being more of a tactician. "There was pressure on me at the beginning of the season to make the varsity," he said. "I'm definitely a better player now than in the beginning of the season. I'm hitting the ball better, and I'm looking to work on my shots and serve."
He then studied his brother's playful style and then looked over to the other doubles court where the Smiths were making short work of their opponents.
"By my senior year," Scott Olson declared boldly, "me and Jared will take the district."