When this class started as freshman, Abe was basically a beginner at tennis. I mean, he had athletic skill, and he could hit the ball hard - but he had no strategy. Watching him play doubles with Evan was really entertaining because at times they looked like they were playing a different game: “Who can hit their serve into the net with the most velocity.” But last year was a turning point for Abe in tennis. Moved to singles after a slow start in doubles, he studied the game throughout the season. He learned how to find others weaknesses. Then he had a win streak of 13 matches, including a tournament title. Then he became #1 this season.
Following Nate Brendle, no one was going to live up to last year. But Abe has struggled for different reasons this year... whether it be great opponents, the heat, low energy, injuries. He has had to face different struggles. But he’s faced them without ever stopping his effort. I think I saw this quality early in him, when I had him come and open the shed every day of the summer for anyone who wanted to come play. Or last season, when he stayed after practice every day to play with Ike Lehman. To get better. Given the opportunity, he will put in the study and the effort. Last year, he did that while he was winning. This year, he’s had to continue that despite some losses.
Our season’s theme has been blessing. I consider this verse from James about Abe:
“As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
Abe, be blessed as you continue to persevere, to face adversity with study and effort. To face the world with compassion and mercy.