Tennis star ‘serves’ others

To some, tennis is just a hobby or a sport, played just to exercise. But that’s not the case for one particular senior mixed-doubles tennis player.

Senior Jacob Preston has been playing tennis since his freshman year and coach Randy Stewart continues to be impressed by his dedication to the sport.

“He never gives up on a ball. In a lot of ways he gives a lot of energy for the whole doubles team,” Stewart said. “He runs and dives for every shot he can and a lot of times wins points just by hustling.”

Not only is Stewart impressed with his athletic abilities on the court, he is also impressed with his character and dedication to helping people outside of practice.

“He’s got an off period 5th and 6th and comes out and works with the JV all the time,” Stewart said. “He does extra chores and does some extra things that helps with the varsity, but he also comes out and hits with the JV and kinda helps me with them on his own. He wasn’t asked he just shows up.”

Preston said he decided to play tennis because he wanted to stray away from football and try something new and more challenging.

“At least 10 or 12 hours a week is spent on tennis,” Preston said. “We practice 7th period and then we also go after school.”

Tennis is not only building up Preston’s athleticism, but also his character.

“In tennis you have to be really supportive of everybody on the team so, if I ever have a group project or if someone is having a bad day, I’ll know how to respond,” Preston said.

Preston’s mind isn’t just on tennis, but also his future college and career plans.

“I’m planing on majoring in marine biology, and playing tennis, not in college, but in a league. I’ve already joined a tennis league,” Preston said, “Marine biology is my dream job; you do something different everyday.”

Math teacher Tonya Preston is proud of her son, his accomplishments, and his character.

“Jacob is a really good kid. His sister is very ill and has moved back home with her three small boys. Jacob helps out with them so much. He drives them to school, picks them up when needed, and entertains them constantly,” Preston said, “Jacob also, on his own, has started going to the JV tennis class period and has been helping out the coaches. No one told him to do this. I think these things speak volumes about his character.”

She also encourages Jacob to continue playing tennis because she believes it helps him be a better person.

“Jacob is very competitive,” Preston said. “Tennis gives him an outlet for that. It has helped him to learn responsibility, working hard, and being there for your team and partner.”

Jacob also has to make time for his school. Grades are just as important to him as tennis.

“He is a bright kid and his grades are pretty good,” Preston said, “He knows if he wants to play he has to do well on his academics. If anything all the tennis has helped him stay focused.”

Jacob uses tennis as a way to express himself on the court and react to his day.

“If you ever get angry you can let it out in tennis,” Jacob said. “If you’re having a good day you can show it in tennis, pretty much you can show however good a day it was or how ever bad in tennis. It’s pretty cool.”