Although the season came to an early end for both the men’s and women’s tennis teams, the scots continued to serve on the court by hosting a tennis camp for the Boys and Girls Club of Blount County. From April 18 to April 19, both teams reported to the tennis courts after classes to spend a couple hours in the sun with smiling young faces.
The tennis camp was led by both team’s players as the head coach fell ill and could not make the camp. However, the MC players took charge and made use of everything that head coach Deidra Dunn has taught them. The kids and the boys and girls club reported to the courts at 3:30 on Monday, April 18 to begin a couple days of tennis training, and the scots men and women switched from players to coaches.
One junior player, Tessa Wilcox, stepped up and to a major role of leadership during the camp. In the absence of the coaches, Wilcox volunteered to take charge and head up each day of the camp. Wilcox, lead the camp and directed every player on what skill every participant should be working on at the time and served as a very high-energy leader for the team.
“It was a great experience to get to teach such sweet boys and girls about the sport I love,” said Wilcox. “I can’t think of a better way to give back to the local kids than to get them active and show them their potential.”
The children interacted well with Wilcox, often giving her high-fives and referring to her as “Miss Tessa.” Wilcox led both the MC players and the camp participants with confidence and a smile.
Each day, the scots had the kids do a quick warm up game to get their feet moving. From there, the kids would partner up with a different player to get one on one lessons. The kids learned everything from how to back-hand, forehand, volley and serve. In two days, the scots taught the children all the basics of foundation for them to continue to build on.
The camp was filled with a fun learning environment for both the scots players turned teachers and the kids. At the end of every day, the children would play a game as a reward for all their hard work during the camp. One popular game, called Ghost, was played both days and the participants cheered every time it was announced that it would be played.
Even though the scots season ended early, they kept positive attitudes for the camp. Neither team made it on to the conference tournament this year. The men’s team went 2-8 in the USA South Conference and the women went 5-7. The scots will have the summer break off from practice and will then reconvene in the fall. The team also looks to host the tennis camp against next year so that they can continue to serve on the court and in the community.