Senior Leader

Namken aids new coach, hopes for scholarship

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Senior Jake Namken returns a shot in a match against Lehman.

Alyssa Walker, Commentary Editor

With family that has competed at the national level, athletic talent runs deep in senior Jake Namken’s veins. But for Namken, natural talent alone isn’t what makes his matches successful. Love and passion for the game is what has taken him to great heights.

“My cousin, Shana, played for USTA in the national championship level at the ADUH tennis tournament,” Namken said.

While his family’s tennis background is a big part of why he wants to play great, what truly ignites Namken’s passion is his pure love of the game. While things have changed throughout the years, one thing hasn’t, his focus and passion for tennis.

“I started playing competitively in the when I was in the 7th grade,” Namken said. “My older brother was playing and my parents encouraged me to play as well.”

Since the end of his sophomore year, Namken has held the title of best male tennis player at BHS. Achieving this accomplishment was no easy feat though. Namken practices every day on the BHS tennis court, from the time he gets out of school until the court lights are powered off.

“As long as those lights are on, I’ll be out practicing,” Namken said. “This year we are really focused on building the program up.”

But the district competition itself is extremely challenging. This competition can be intimidating to some. Namken takes it upon himself to work with players on their ground strokes, help them better understand the basic fundamentals and improve their serves.

“Namken considers himself a leader and a big help to newly appointed head coach, Robert Ardis,” Namken said.

With his final number of matches dwindling down, Namken wants to showcase his abilities in the hopes that it will attract some attention from college coaches.

“I don’t care what level I play at, as long as I get to play tennis in college,” Namken said.

Two of the colleges on his radar are Texas Lutheran University and more importantly, St. Edwards University. While St. Edwards is at the top of his wish list, as long he gets to play tennis in college, his wish will have come true.

“I love tennis because no matter how old I’ll be, I can always play,” Namken said.