NATE BONES: New sport offers more possibilities

Student athletes often find themselves dedicated to a sport, finding a reason to fight through the challenges and struggles of each and every game. Though Nate Bones, a senior, has played and excelled in baseball and football, he’s found a connection in tennis that stands out from the other sports so far. That connection means more to him than fame or winning, but just being able to grow as a player through having fun and enjoying himself.

Bones first started playing this year after wanting to try out something new for his last year of high school. Despite the fact that he is a senior, he’s quickly grown accustomed to the sport due to his athleticism.

“I learned how to compete in tennis through football,” Bones said. “ I also learned how to have confidence because I’m not scared to go against anyone even if I might lose.”

Through his short time on the team, he has fallen in love with the new sport. He currently plays as the 1st doubles team with his partner. After beating out the former 1st doubles team in a match and keeping the spot by beating another doubles team, he feels confident in his skill despite his newness compared to other players. Though they only have had two games so far due to having to constantly cancelling games because of the rain, he feels prepared for when the season actually starts.

“Mike and I just started practicing together and we found good chemistry with each other when we play,” Bones said. “This is my first year playing tennis and I didn’t think I’d get to play a spot like No. 1 doubles.”

The best thing about tennis to Bones is how he always feels excited to go to practice, rather than sluggishly and reluctantly going to the courts. He feels as though he has supportive teammates and coaches, Shannon Markley and Mary French. He’s always excited to learn more and improve his serves and swings. While Bones can thank baseball and football for his success now, he is able to find a sense of freedom and personal enjoyment in tennis that was missing before.

“It’s a sport I can have fun with and [the team] can still do good at the end of the day.”