As I mentioned in a previous post, I am back on the courts again. It feels good. Tonight my friend Tim and I went and hit for about an hour and a half in Keokuk. Unfortunately the lighting isn’t real good there, so on one side of the court all I could see was a big yellow blob coming toward me. My night vision is already weak, and this didn’t help. But, it was fun. I lost the set 5-7. I had been down 2-5, and came back and won the next three games, but I just lost my concentration at the end. My game crumbled. It’s funny how years after high school, I can still hear the voice of my coach, Jack Johnson, in the back of my head.
I had it so good in my high school tennis program. I regret that I was not mature enough at the time to take it more seriously. Jack didn’t work for the school, but he coached our team unofficially. It wasn’t until I got to college that I realized how good I had it with him. Our college tennis program was fun, but not serious. What I learned in college I learned only from my competition.
We had a unique group on our high school team. Four of us all in the same class dominated our conference from our sophomore year to our senior year. Unfortunately only two of my teammates made it to state our senior year. I came sooo close. I won my first match easily, and in my qualifying match I was up a set and 3-0 in the second and third sets, but let the guy come back to win. I was so mad! And that was at #1 singles, when I normally played #1 doubles (I was #3 on the team).
I see Jack every so often when I go home. He’s still playing USTA tournaments…and winning them. He won the 5A state championship match in singles when he played for Ark City High School. And then, I think he also won nationals for Pitt State University. The guy is a tennis stud–no other way to put it. Anyway, I love tennis, and wish that I would not have neglected it for the last eight or so years. But now I am trying to get back into the game, and having fun.