Professors stay active, still athletes
There are many other places that students can find their professors other than classrooms. One of those places is a field of play. Any student can find Dr. Bill Meyer on a golf course, Dr. Drew Crain and Dr. Terry Simpson in the First Baptist Church racquetball room twice a week, and Mr. Kim Trevathan at the Maryville College tennis courts on most afternoons.
At just the age of 9, Meyer started playing golf due to the influence of his family. He continued the sport up into college at Northwestern University, just outside of Chicago . It was always his boyhood dream to play at a professional level, but as he grew older, Meyer started to realize that “the classroom was [his] vocation, [and] golf was [his] avocation.” All this because “[he] had more brains than game.”
After 40 years of experience, Meyer still continues to play competitively in local amateur tournaments, such as the Blount County Tournament and the Knoxville Amateur Tournament. His advice for beginners was “to stay patient and practice a lot. [Golf is] a hard, but enjoyable game to play.”
His went on to say: “Like many sports, [golf] teaches you a lot of virtues and good habits. They say you play 18 holes of golf with someone, and you get to know who they are.”
He also said that he hopes he can one day be as good of a player as Maryville’s golf coach, Ron Waters.
College is typically a great time to figure out one’s passions in life. Both Crain and Simpson found one of theirs, racquetball, in undergraduate school. Crain started playing at Clemson University as a freshman. He and his friends were purely looking for something to do that was fun and consisted of more than just jogging. Simpson started playing in college, as well.
They started playing together in the late ‘90s and try to meet at least twice a week to play. Cooper Athletic Center used to be their home turf, until the college turned the courts into the orange and garnet meeting rooms.
“[Racquetball is] basically a stress relief from classes,” said Simpson. “You know, something you could totally take your mind off of studying for a little while.”
He also recommended that beginning and experienced players wear goggles. This is a lesson that Simpson learned in the ‘80s when he received five stitches on the bridge of his nose from a loose racquet.
Sadly, one thing you won’t be seeing is Crain’s infamous bowties out there on the court, but you might catch Simpson messing with his opponent’s diabetic pump to help lead him to victory!
Like Meyer with golf, Trevathan started playing tennis as a young boy. He and a friend took a lesson at a public park in his hometown, Murray, Ky. He instantly fell in love with the sport.
“It sounds nerdy, but I liked the geometry of the game and all the angles,” said Trevathan.
One of the coolest places he ever played was at Oxford University in England just after he graduated. Oxford has grass courts, which he said were really fun to play on.
To Trevathan, tennis is serious business; he loves to win and hates to lose. He is currently playing on a doubles team and is headed to the USTA State Tournament in Chattanooga. Some quick tips he has for beginners are not to hit the ball as hard as you can, and to try to keep the ball in the lines.
“[Tennis is] a great sport that you can keep playing your whole life. It’s a great mixture of control with power.”
In all, each professor had something nice to say about the other professors and their skill at their respective sports.
With one of the goals of Maryville College being to produce students who are well-rounded leaders, what better one would be hard pressed to find better role models than these for pursuing excellence in and out of the classroom.