Tennis club starts a “racquet”

by Ryan Kohlhof

A while back, a few students, with the help of PCM Science Teacher Kristen Souza wanted to start a club tennis team. Souza used to play in school herself, so she was more than ecstatic about passing down what she knew. There were a few steps involved in this though. They had to get a club approved first off. Then they needed supplies. And of course, they needed a place to practice.
It didn’t take long to approve, and there are courts in both Prairie City and Monroe, so that wasn’t a problem. All that was left was the supplies. They hit up a donation website on the internet. They put their club on it and added what the money would go toward. When the donations came in, the team got together and sent out thank you cards to the donors.
Every Tuesday and Wednesday around 5 p.m, the tennis team packs up their racquets and heads to the courts in Tools Point Park in Monroe to begin practice. They focus on basic skills and learning the rules, along with different stances. There are usually around five people at the courts on any given practice, that way everyone has a chance to get hands on help and experience without having to take turns with too many people.
“It’s going really well,” Souza said. “When we started, people could barely get it over the net. Now, everyone is exceeding in their front hand and back hand swings, as well as volleying.”
Along with Souza, there are a few other former students who come to help out. Any PCM student is welcome to join the club if they have the initiative and want to learn. This year is all about the basics and in the future there may be matches against other schools.
“I’ve always found tennis to be intriguing, with some of my friends playing it at Pella,” junior Karina Van Dyke said. “When I heard we were going to have a team this year, I was excited to try something new, and I love it! It’s not as easy as it looks, and it takes a lot of focus, but it’s fun to see myself improve. I’m thankful for Mrs. Souza and the time she has taken to coach us.”