There was some sort of magic in the 2017 girls tennis season at Dowling Catholic High School. I don’t think anyone could quite describe it. But there was something special that happened when that group of girls stepped foot on the tennis court.

I can still feel the exact same feelings that overwhelmed me during the state tournament. Don’t get me wrong—I don’t sit and think about it every single day. But I do think about it from time to time, and it still breaks my heart. There’s still a lump in my throat and a catch in my breath when I think about what happened in Ankeny, Iowa on June 1-3.

A dream was shattered. Yes, that’s dramatic, but yes, that’s what happened. I know not everyone shares the dream of wanting to win a state title in girl’s high school tennis, but I think everyone can relate to working really, really hard for something only to see it fall before your eyes.

I left part of myself behind on those courts. I gave a part of myself that I will never get back. I wouldn’t change what happened, because I learned so much, and it’s going to taste even sweeter when the team wins the state championship next year (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). But what happened on those days deserves to be acknowledged, because it was truly life altering. Walking away on the other side of that season, I was not the same person. I wouldn’t be where I am today without that. So I am thankful. I am forever grateful for that team and those memories. Long live the fuzz slappers of 2017. xx


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