Then again, there's something to be said for youthful exuberance, too. Adam Bahney advanced that argument quite nicely as well Saturday.
And in doing so, provided some clues that the future of Lebanon County scholastic tennis (Bahney) may well end up looking a lot like the present (Fortna).
Fortna's final district tourney appearance as a singles competitor and Bahney's first intersected during the opening two rounds of the prestigious district event at Hershey Racquet Club. And by the end of the day, the two found themselves in very different places in their respective brackets, but in a very similar location emotionally.
Tournament veteran and Cedar Crest senior Fortna happily kept his hopes for a district title to close out his distinguished career alive with a pair of impressive straight-set victories in the Class AAA draw. Meanwhile in Class AA, Elco freshman Bahney served notice that he'll have to be dealt with in the future after a convincing opening-round victory followed by a closer-than-it-looks 6-4, 6-2 second-round loss to third-seeded Ricardo Saad of Wyomissing.
"I definitely have an advantage, I have three years of experience," No. 2 seed Fortna said of one of the keys to his success Saturday. "I feel like my mental game is at its best right
While Fortna, who'll meet Manheim Township's David Musser in Monday's 1 p.m. semifinal at HRC, was busy surviving Manheim Central's big-serving Colin Wolgemuth in the first round via a 6-3, 6-2 victory, Bahney was overwhelming Grant Strawoet of James Buchanan, 6-1, 6-0, in his opener.
In the second round, though, the disparity in experience led to differing results, as Fortna took down another tough customer in Dallastown's Adam Gante by a 6-2, 6-1 count and Bahney fell to Saad 6-4, 6-2 despite having his moments in a tight first set.
"It wasn't too bad, because I knew a lot of the guys from clinics and other tournaments," Bahney said of his district debut. "But there's a lot of guys you don't know. It's a really different setting than some of the tournaments I've played. But I liked it a lot, I enjoyed playing here.
"I'm really proud of the way the team played and the way I played (during the season). It was a pretty good season overall. There's some things I wish I could have done better, but other than that it was a pretty good season for my first time."
While Bahney's first time as a district competitor was coming to an end, Fortna's last go-round was looking like it could end up being quite memorable.
Showing no ill effects from the knee injury he suffered at the Lancaster-Lebanon League finals earlier in the week, Fortna played superb tennis in all phases of the game in handling Wolgemuth and Gante, who he'll see again Tuesday when Cedar Crest and Dallastown meet in the district team semis.
"It definitely means a lot," Fortna, the runner-up a year ago, said of the significance of his last district appearance. "Especially since last year I did pretty well. You know there's always going to be some good players here, but I tried to come out at the top of my game today and it paid off. Hopefully I can keep it going."
For a few fleeting moments in the first set, there was some hope that Bahney might join Fortna in Monday's semifinals back at HRC.
After falling in a quick 3-0 hole, Bahney rallied to even the set at 3-3 with the help of a booming serve and pinpoint groundstrokes that temporarily frustrated fellow freshman Saad. He was still very much in the set down 5-4 and two points away from 5-5 when a tough line call went against him and permanently shifted the momentum.
Still, it wasn't a poor performance by any means.
"I thought I had him, but he picked up his game a little bit," Bahney said. "I slipped up a little bit, and he got his pace back. He's a good player, though."
There were a lot of good players at Hershey Racquet Club on Saturday. Including Fortna and Bahney, two different players at different stages of their career who may end up leaving similar legacies.
Notes: The Class AAA semifinals will be an all-Lancaster-Lebanon League showcase with Fortna and the third-seeded Musser squaring off in one semi, and top-seeded Alex Mast of Conestoga Valley meeting Hempfield's Andrew Clark in the other. The winners will face off for the district title later Monday afternoon. ... Fortna and Cedar Crest will be back at Hershey Racquet Club on Tuesday at noon to meet Dallastown in the team semifinals, with the championship match slated for Wednesday.