The official student newspaper of GWUOHS

GW Chronicle of the Yawp

The official student newspaper of GWUOHS

GW Chronicle of the Yawp

The official student newspaper of GWUOHS

GW Chronicle of the Yawp

Students Pursue Competitive Tennis With the Flexibility of Online School

courtesy of Lucas D.
Sophomore Lucas D. is pictured taking a water break before representing Barbados against the U.S. Virgin Islands at the Junior Davis Cup

When sophomore Lucas D.’s* youth tennis team received an opportunity to compete at the Junior Davis Cup hosted in the Dominican Republic during the first week of March, he hardly had to think twice about traveling to another country for fifteen days in the middle of the school year. 

“If I had not been in an online school setting, I don’t think that trip would have been possible,” Lucas said.

He was able to participate in all the tournaments and activities at the Junior Davis Cup without having the concern of getting behind at school. With a schedule that incorporates approximately fourteen hours of weekly practice in addition to regular tournaments, Lucas finds online school to be beneficial for pursuing all of his interests thoroughly.

“I can play [tennis] based on my own schedule while also having a rigorous curriculum,” he noted.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic when online school was mainstream, Lucas’s family realized that this academic structure worked best for his situation with tennis. So, he started high school at GWUOHS.

As another passionate tennis player, eighth-grader Catharine S.* echoes Lucas’s sentiment.

A few months back, Catharine came across a tennis tournament in Parkersburg, W.Va. that she wanted to compete in. The tournament was to start early in the morning on a Saturday, and it was going to be a long commute from her house.

“But since I could do schoolwork in the car, we could leave Friday and get a hotel to stay at, so we could go there,” she said. 

Similarly, freshman Samuel K.*, who dedicates seven hours a day to practicing tennis, appreciates the flexibility of attending school from any location and circumstance.

“I went down South for a tournament, and I was there for like a week,” he said. “I was able to do school online, on the road even. I mean, sometimes that didn’t work very well, because the Wi-Fi wasn’t great, but I was still able to do some work while driving.”

One downfall that Lucas finds in online school when it comes to tennis is the inability to play at school. 

“Online school does mean that I can’t play high school tennis,” he acknowledged. 

For Catharine and Samuel, however, this is not a significant issue. 

“Tennis is a one-on-one player sport normally, and it’s very common to play on your own and not for a school,” Catharine said.

Eighth-grader Catharine S. poses with her racket and medal after winning a singles tournament. (courtesy of Catharine S.)

Samuel added that it is not a big issue even when considering post-secondary tennis.

“I don’t know about other sports, but high school tennis isn’t as big [of] a deal as it is for other sports like football or basketball,” he said. “College recruitment coaches usually don’t look at high school tennis. They usually just look at the tournaments you played outside high school.”

Despite the physical barriers of online school, some of the students were even able to meet in person and play tennis together. Last June, Lucas and Samuel played together at a doubles tournament in Matawan, N.J. 

“Not only was I able to talk to [other tennis players] online, but I was also able to actually meet up with people,” Samuel said. “It was just like meeting with a friend from a brick-and-mortar school for a tournament.”

*Last names withdrawn for student privacy

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About the Contributor
Divya Srinivasan
Divya Srinivasan, Editor-in-Chief
Divya is a freshman at GWUOHS, and this is her second year writing for the Chronicle. Focusing on the community news column, she is an active reporter for the newspaper. This year, she is also in charge of maintaining the online news site. Aside from the Chronicle, she leads the Model United Nations Club and is a member of the Yearbook Club, the STEM Club, the Writing Lab, and the Peer Mentor Program. When not writing, Divya can be found singing, studying a language, solving puzzles, or immersed in a book. She looks forward to continuing working as a liaison between the news and the community.
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