FROM STAFF REPORTS
GRANITE SHOALS — All a couple of Highland Lakes Elementary School teachers wanted to do was introduce students to the game of tennis. What they got was a bit overwhelming.
Jenni Jost and Sara Dutch expressed interest in helping out with the elementary school’s tennis club during the ACE after-school enrichment program. When they showed up for the spring semester program, the two learned 76 students signed up for tennis.
One the surface it was all aces, but without enough equipment, the two teachers might have faced having many of the interested students on the sidelines or pursue something else. However, thanks to private donations and used equipment from the Marble Falls High School and Marble Falls Middle School tennis programs, the tennis club is again at an advantage point.
“We wanted to expose the students to a sport that supports physical fitness and ignites a passion for something that can travel with them the rest of their life,” Jost said. “We were a little overwhelmed by the interest in the tennis club at first, but with the needed equipment in place, we are now very excited.”
Marble Falls High School tennis coach Jeff Savage, upon learning about the tennis club’s situation, donated older rackets and tennis balls, which he had replaced at the high school with upgrades. This meant six additional tennis rackets and 500 tennis balls for the elementary school program.
Marble Falls Middle School coach Joe Powell loaned the elementary program another 11 rackets and 20 balls. He also provided a tennis ball cage.
It wasn’t just other school district staff who came to the aid of the program. Longtime tennis supporter Nancy Herrington donated several more rackets for the club.
Herrington and her late husband, Charlie, have been major supporters of the area’s tennis programs. Recently, Marble Falls Independent School honored the couple by naming the high school tennis courts the Charlie and Nancy Herrington Tennis Center.
More donations to the tennis club are always welcomed. Anyone interested in helping Highland Lakes Elementary School students learn tennis and develop a lifelong love of the sport should contact Mark Richert, the ACE site coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (830) 798-3650.