Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Senior Night

Senior night is always one of my favorite nights of the season. Last night, we got to honor 5 seniors who have put in great time and effort for the Bruins over the past 4 (or in Nathan's case 3) years.

Here's a little bit about each of them, and some thoughts I shared last night.

Ryan Minter
JV Record: 7-16-1
Varsity Record: 2-0

For 3 years, Ryan was a part of the tennis family as a player. Then last year, an injury ended his season early. This year, he has a different role - the student assistant coach. And I can't tell you how valuable this job has been for the team. From leading drills to feeding balls, Ryan has made us better at practice. He's had fun doing it too, as I still see him getting involved in drills and games. Some of my best tennis camp conversations over the years have been with Ryan as well, as he is a deep and critical thinker, attributes that I really enjoy. I know that he is well prepared for success in the future, and I thank him for helping us achieve success this season.

"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant..." - Philippians 2:5-7  

Wade Troyer
JV Record: 25-25
Varsity Record: 4-4

The Tower of Power, Wade has been one of my favorite players since he started on the team 4 years ago. With his recent wins, Wade has moved up on an all-time list as well. He is currently 2nd in all-time JV wins. His attitude has always seemed to be the perfect balance of enjoying tennis and enjoying his teammates. He also gives all the effort he has, despite his self-professed lack of athletic ability and coordination. Because of his effort, his attitude, and his positive presence, he has always been a favorite of his teammates as well. How many times have we all cheered on his awesome points, yelling out Power of Tower or vice versa on his slams and putaways? He also has a quiet personality, which makes his additions to the team even more powerful when he speaks them. We've had so much fun having Wade on the team, and he'll certainly be a person we remember and miss in the upcoming years.

"This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength...'" - Isaiah 30:15

Himal King
JV Record: 10-17
Varsity Record: 7-8

Over the past 2-3 years, Himal has consistently committed himself to improving his athletic and tennis skills. From individual lessons with me several summers ago, to group lessons, to Insanity after school, Himal has always sought to improve. I'm so happy to have him playing regularly on the varsity this season, and watching him continue to improve at that level. Himal is dedicated to his tasks, and comes to them with a positive attitude. He takes instruction seriously, and has great common sense and concern for others. He has been an excellent leader on the team this year.

"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me." - 1 Corinthians 15:10 

Ike Lehman
JV Record: 3-12
Varsity Record: 18-19

Despite his one missed season while on exchange in Paraguay, Ike has been one of the most consistent players on this team. He has been consistent in his off-season effort, working out and preparing himself. He has been consistent with his time put in at practice during the summer. He has been consistent in his ability to listen and learn. And he has been consistent on the court. You always know that Ike will play his hardest and attempt to figure out any match. He is a leader by this example of consistency, this intensity, and his enjoyment of the whole process - from practice, to being with teammates, to the court. We will miss Ike's presence on the team as we head into the off-season.

"You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them." - John 13:13-17

Nathan Brendle
JV Record: 16-2 (as a freshman at Northridge)
Varsity Record: 46-11

One thing that I always enjoy about Senior Night is reflecting on how each senior has changed. With Nathan, he has always been our most skilled player, since he joined as a sophomore. But watching how he has matured mentally over the years has been incredible. Making amazing strides in self-control, focus, and patience, he has both solidified his tennis game and put himself in a great place to succeed post-tennis. I've always enjoyed his honesty and desire to be a player who is concerned with the team. As such, I've enjoyed watching him celebrate his personal successes (like the Merrillville Tournament championship) as well as his teammates successes (like Joel and Hans win over Elkhart Central!) The other thing that has been great about Nathan is his willingness to teach. He has a gift of helping others, especially with their serves, and seeing him use that gift has been awesome. With his Fairfield win, Nathan is now the all-time leader at Bethany for varsity wins. So we will miss his incredible talent. But we will also miss the other gifts he gives to the team.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." - John 14:27



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