// My stomping grounds for the past four years… As odd as it seems, it feels right that they just tore up these courts to build new ones for next year. The crappy, cracked, low-quality facilities no longer exist—they’re leaving with us. //
To say that I am over this year’s tennis season would be a complete lie. I don’t think I’ll ever be over what went down these past few months. No one will ever see the amount of work that went in beforehand, but what the team did together shows the amount of grit and heart that we all poured out.
After milling it all over with a wise mentor/friend/former coach, I realized that the experience hit me so hard because it was just that—an experience. The state tournament might have only lasted for a few days, but the year of preparation and hard work made it seem so much more than that. And with any kind of experience, you have to sit with it after the fact, and you have to sit in the ways it makes you feel.
Getting second place at team state was a really, really bittersweet experience. It was so hard to be so close to the first title the school would have ever had and fall just short of snatching it. Heartbreaks don’t just come from losing people… they come from experiences that we give our whole hearts to as well. I could sit and dwell on the fact that we “only got second” and that we were “so close to winning,” and as a matter of fact, I did that for a while. It was really hard, and to be honest, it was really shitty. But with absolutely everything else, there is always a silver lining.
It’s no small feat to just make it to the team state championship… that doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot to get there, and you know what, we did. Personally, I couldn’t have given more of myself in those last few matches, and that’s all anyone can ask for. It was one hell of a ride, and knowing that I can walk away saying that I gave it 110% of all I’ve got gives me wonderful peace of mind. Sure, we had a numeric finish—2nd in team, 3rd in dubs—but more than anything else, this was about the friendships and lessons learned and character gained in the past year. At the end of the day, that’s what I’ll remember more than anything else ten years from now, and that’s what truly matters. xx