Alton Tennis: How to hold serve on the court and in the classroom

Coach Jesse Macias writes below about how students balance their work and athletic responsibilities and how that translates into on–court and in the classroom success.

 Balance is the key to great tennis.  Players need balance when hitting a forehand, volley, serve, or any other shot on the court.  Balance is also the key to life.   For high school student athletes, balance is necessary for having both academic and athletic success.  Student athletes today seem to have more responsibility than ever before.  For many high school athletes, a typical day includes a two-hour practice, followed by hours of homework, and they still must find time for family, friends, social life, work, and other extra-curricular activities.  Student athletes hope to create good habits that will ultimately continue in college–whether they continue playing sports or not.  For the Alton High School girls’ tennis team, staying balanced is vital for success in the classroom and on the courts.  The Redbirds were recognized in 2016 by the Illinois High School Athletic Association with a team academic award.  The Redbirds had a cumulative weighted grade point average of 3.91 and an un-weighted average of 3.25.

Alton High is led on the courts by Abby Fischer, who is the number one player on the team and also the number one ranked student in the senior class.  Fischer is ranked #1 out of 460 seniors and carries a grade point average of 4.757 on a 4.0 scale.  She recently applied to the University of Mississippi early admission program for Pharmacy and is waiting to hear the results. For Fischer, “Academics and tennis are both fun and competitive, but I like the challenge.”   Fischer and junior Hannah Macias were both named to the Southwestern Conference All-Academic Team last season.  Macias, who is ranked in the top 5% of the junior class, says that sports help her in multiple ways.  “We spend a lot of time together at practice and playing matches, plus traveling for tournaments.  People study on the bus, in between matches, or really any time we can.  I’ve built great relationships with everyone on the team and it’s nice knowing that everyone takes school and tennis seriously.”  Junior Katie Manns, “Some matches run late and we don’t get home until 9:00 or 10:00. That’s why it is important to stay caught up with school work.  It’s not fun to fall behind and spend all night studying,” said Junior Katie Manns,

Other varsity members with a G.P.A over 4.0 include seniors Makayla Cox and Skylar Wickenhauser, plus juniors Molly Gross, Lexi Mayfield, Cali Giertz, Mackenzie Giertz, Manns, Josie Sands, Claire Puent,  Taylor Jansen, and CeCe Moan.  Cox is a two sport star and student council officer who has multiple college soccer scholarship offers.  “I take a lot of dual credit classes that have homework every night. But, I feel like I will be ready to play sports in college and will be able to make good grades because I have learned to manage both. Family time is more important than anything and another reason why I’m glad I manage my time well,” Cox said.






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