Well unfortunately the boys tennis team was unable to persuade the school to give them one more year to finish their college tennis career. No real surprise but I was so proud of their valiant effort and mature, dignified response to the situation.
The team demanded a meeting with the athletic director and were granted one. They went in and requested a more detailed explanation to the decision and also what options where open to them. I am not going to get into the details but the boys left the meeting although unhappy with the decision they at least understood it.
Five of the young men on the team are juniors this year so they lost their senior year of tennis. The coach was able to find transfer opportunities for them if they wished to go. The surprising thing is none of them went. They started this thing together and they are going to finish together. They ARE a team! When the athletic director asked them what they were going to do they stated “we are going to be the best club tennis team in the country!” The director laughed and said “I don’t doubt it.”
Once again I am in awe of the life lessons you can learn through the game of tennis. Life hands you disappointments and it is how you react to these disappointments that carve your way through life. Your character is molded and your flexibility tested, your willingness to fight and your ability to accept defeat with grace…these are the characteristics of a tennis player…these are the characteristics of a person who will go places in life!
Hats off to the mens tennis team of Western Kentucky, you played well, you held your heads high and you displayed all the characteristics of successful, honest and dignified young men. The world is yours to do whatever you wish. I have no doubt you will have a positive effect on it!
(The decision to not leave was not just about tennis and their team mates but their education. As a senior you cannot transfer all of your credits so they would potentially have to go an extra year of college. Don’t let people convince you that you can just get up and go to any school. It is true if you are only interested in the athletics but don’t forget the educational component.)