Tennis: The Middle School Sport?

Owen Putnam, Staff Writer

Do you want to play varsity tennis in high school? The truth is that you might not be able to. Without the practice, it is hard to jump right into a varsity spot on the team. Unless you go to community courts with no one there everyday for months, you do not have a guaranteed place. Tennis should be allowed to be a school sport for middle schools in Wyoming.

According to Austin Putnam (Fall 2020 state champion in 1st singles at Kelly Walsh High School) says, “Tennis should be a middle school sport because it prepares student-athletes for their high school years. It also provides things to do for inactive students. If I had played in middle school, I would have had more experience, making me even better now.”

When asked, “should tennis be a middle school sport,” Centennial eighth grader Harper Klinger said, “Yes, because it is a very fun sport to play, and I think that a lot of kids would like it.”

Tennis in junior high is a great idea because anyone planning to even try out in high school must at least have some background knowledge of the game. Middle school P.E. doesn’t even have a unit on tennis to teach kids. It is also a great cardio exercise for students looking to play a covid safe, non-contact game. 

The says, “don’t let the relatively small court fool you. Depending on their style of game, players may run 3-5 miles during a five set match, sometimes even more.” Kids who sit in front of a television all day playing eighteen hours of video games might want to consider this sport before joining the video game club in high school.

Even though you may not become a professional player, tennis is a lifelong sport that you will most likely play when you are in your older years of your life. 

First in the world for tennis, Novak Djovakic, said, “The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday.” This shows that being a professional tennis player is not easier than being a football or basketball player. Tennis is a true cardio sport that is no picnic. It is also an easier sport to stick with throughout life because it requires less opponents to play.

When kids participate in school sports, it raises the school’s spirit and pride. The more sports a school has, the more school pride and spirit for the school. New sports could inspire kids to join other clubs and sports teams, as well as hopefully getting more student athletes involved. 

Ryan Sparby, another eighth grader at Centennial says, “from the point of view from a non-tennis player, I think tennis is a great idea for middle schoolers, because it could help the sport grow and help kids get more fit.” He thinks the sport would be more popular if it was an official sport for the middle schools. 

The CTT (Centennial tennis team) could practice at community courts such as the Beverly St. Courts or the Washington St. Courts. The CTT could practice after school at 3:00 or before school in the morning.

A lot of middle school students are experiencing depression, loneliness, bullying, and in extreme cases, self harm or suicide. A new sport gives greater chances for those students to be a part of a team. More sports can also give students more choices when it comes to being active. 

With a little bit of fundraising, the middle school could potentially build some courts in a corner of the gigantic football field.

Centennial teacher Kari Harris states, “Tennis is a great idea, because it is a lifetime sport, it isn’t a contact sport (skill based), it doesn’t require a lot of equipment, and the uniforms look awesome. Another thing that would be great about middle school tennis is that it is a co-ed sport, so both genders can play it. Tennis equipment is not expensive, but the private lessons are. With the middle schools having tennis as a sport, it would close the gap between kids whose families can afford tennis lessons and kids whose families cannot. It also teaches good sportsmanship and manners toward other players. Even if students can not reach tennis courts, they could set up a net in the school gym and use tape for lines.” She thinks that tennis is an amazing idea for middle school.

If middle school tennis was existing, everyone would be happy.