For the love of family: Senior tennis team member recognizes bonds created in sport

It’s a tied match. One more hit, one more chance to win. He lifts his arm, the tennis racket clenched into his hand as the ball makes its way toward him. He makes contact with the ball, and it flies back over the net just out of reach of his opponents outstretched racket.

Senior Culley Wright has enjoyed playing tennis for the past seven years especially during high school.

“I like getting to challenge people and while playing that the tennis team is like a family,” Culley said. “The constant practicing even though it is necessary takes up some time but it’s worth it in the end.”

Tennis coach James Stewart recognizes Culley’s efforts to lead the team as a senior and appreciates what Culley does.

“He’s a quiet leader, and he doesn’t holler or get at everybody,” Stewart said, “but when we start a particular drill or a different activity, he doesn’t say a word and does it. If people don’t follow, then he’ll say something, but he leads by example.”

Teammate, junior Jacob Yancy also sees how Culley leads by example and respects his role on the team.

“He sets a good example,” Jacob said. “He tries really hard during his matches and gives it his all, he works hard, and that’s a good leadership quality that I respect.”

Stewart has seen Culley develop throughout his high school career and appreciates the effort he puts into the sport.

“What he’s done more than anything is that he’s more willing to put in extra time,” Stewart said. “He had an opportunity to hit over the holidays and he came up, There wasn’t anybody there so he hit serves and did some extra work on his own.”

Culley approaches the game of Tennis and doesn’t hold back even if he doesn’t feel like doing it.

“He goes for it, he may not like it, he may not like a particular drill,” Stewart said. “But he’s like okay thats what we’re doing today so let’s go and he just puts in the work.”

The tennis team shares a strong bond and interacts like one big family.

“We are like a family,” Culley said. “Of course there’s gonna be people arguing sometimes, but it’s like one big dysfunctional family that I enjoy being apart of.”