It was cloudy
and unseasonably cool as William Reynolds began his warmup for
his semifinal match. He had quietly waltzed through his first
two matches on the previous day. However, this day was different.
William was facing top seeded Heritage Hall. Yet, he had a plan.
If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a country
to develop an elite tennis player. Earlier that morning, William
met with his private coach, high school coaches, hitting partner,
and parents to hatch out a plan for this match. It was decided
that he would make Heritage Hall play around his shots. Even as
an underdog, he would be the aggressor. William executed this
plan to near perfection. In the first set, William broke Heritage's
serve and took a 5-4 lead in the set. An uncomfortable Heritage
Hall crowd was overheard saying, "where is this Collinsville
town?", also, "who is this kid?". The intensity
of the crowd grew, unfortunately, so did the play of Heritage
Hall. While William was nearly flawless, Heritage Hall was better.
William lost 5-7, 4-6. He went on to beat Bishop Kelley and claim
3rd place in the OSSAA Boys Tennis State Tournament. While losses
are never celebrated, two truths were discovered that day. First,
William has become a force in 5A tennis. Also, Heritage Hall may
not know where Collinsville is on a map, but William gave them
a lesson on what we stand for in this town. In that semifinal
match, spectators saw class, courage, and most of all, grit.
Coach Robert Sparks (5/16/2016)