More options equal increased opportunities.
With that, I applaud Washington High School for adding girls golf and boys and girls swimming programs for their student-athletes.
It’s great to see more and more opportunities available to student-athletes.
But while reading about the school district’s expansion of its sports offerings, one thing crossed my mind.
What about tennis?
When I moved here I was surprised by the fact that none of the local high schools offer tennis, boys or girls.
The community I last worked in was a big tennis town, as the high school program regularly sees a lot of success at the state level, boys and girls. They’ve had individual and team state champions over the years, and the community has a large youth tennis program, along with a popular adult tennis tournament each summer. Several of their top high school tennis players have moved to the college level, earning scholarships to help with the ever-increasing cost of higher education.
And it wasn’t just that community. Every team in their conference fields boys and girls tennis teams.
That was there, not here, I understand that.
So I ask — Is there enough interest in adding tennis to the high schools here?
I would assume so.
And to me, there are many reasons to add tennis at the high school level.
Tennis is a lifetime sport, meaning those who learn the game can play it and enjoy it throughout their entire lives.
Of course, everyone reading this knows what participating in athletics does for kids — they learn things like teamwork, hard work and overcoming obstacles while building friendships that can last a lifetime.
Participating in tennis at the high school level also teaches sportsmanship and fair play. And it’s a fun game to play, whether you’re playing singles or doubles.
Giving student-athletes as many opportunities as possible should be the goal of every school district. Providing tennis teams could help kids earn college scholarships, too, while potentially adding more and more hardware to a school’s trophy case.
The only arguments against adding more sports at a high school are the fact that the new sport could pull kids away from the pre-existing sports and increased costs. I don’t think either would be an issue.
In a school the size of Washington High it seems there were would be enough athletes to go around. We’re not talking about a tiny high school here. I’ve seen high schools in Kansas much smaller than WHS that offer baseball, track and field, golf and tennis in the spring for boys. Like golf, student-athletes involved in tennis provide most of their own equipment (racquets, shoes) for the sport, so the cost isn’t too great for the school.
The new World Team Tennis league is another indication that there is an interest in tennis in the Washington-area.
The tennis courts at Phoenix Park are nearly brand new and would be a place the local high school players could practice and hold meets. Of course, if new courts are built on a high school’s campus, they would not only be used by the tennis teams, but also by physical education classes throughout the day.
Adding tennis in the next few years would be a good idea for the local high schools. I don’t see any negatives in doing so.
Who knows, the next tennis star could be in this area, too. If we don’t give that kid a chance to play, he or she may never find his or her calling.
At the least, those kids who play tennis will be able to enjoy the sport for the rest of their lives.
And I’ll say it again, more options equal increased opportunities.