Men’s tennis team finds a leader in Woodson

Dillan Schorfheide, Men's Tennis Reporter

 

Junior Jared Woodson, a Communications studies major prepares for the Fall season during a team practice on Tuesday. The Panthers season begins Sept. 16 at Valparaiso.
Justin Brown
Junior Jared Woodson, a Communications studies major prepares for the Fall season during a team practice on Tuesday. The Panthers season begins Sept. 16 at Valparaiso.

With the men’s tennis season fast-approaching, junior Jared Woodson is embracing his role as a leader alongside his teammates.

“I get the privilege to be a leader on this team, along with my fellow juniors Grant (Reiman) and Trent (Reiman),” he said. “We also have a senior named Jake (Wendell) who’s been a big help as well.”

The leadership the upperclassmen bring will be key to a Panthers roster that features five freshmen.

As a whole, Woodson said the team constantly being around each other is helping build a strong bond. He wants the team to work together and grow each day. Woodson believes if they do this, the team could reach the Ohio Valley Conference tennis tournament and more.

On the court, Woodson said that he is working on certain aspects of his game. Off the court the South Carolina native said he has been trying to get used to Illinois’ climate. When he is not on a tennis court, Woodson is doing sprints and hitting the gym daily to improve his performance on the court.

Woodson’s ultimate goals for the season are to not only improve himself as a player, but also help those around him. He hopes to win as many matches as possible, while encouraging everyone on the team to do better.

Men’s Tennis Coach Sam Kercheval had some great things to say about Woodson.

“[Jared] has great character and is someone who always puts the team before himself as an individual,” Kercheval said. “He is a hard worker and is doing everything he can to get himself into a starting position on this team. Jared demonstrates what we want and expect of players within this program.”

During his sophomore season, Woodson posted a 2-5 record in singles matches and 2-4 in doubles. He finished with a 1-1 record in conference play with then partner Ryan Henderson, who graduated in the spring.

In his freshman year, Woodson competed in a total of three matches. Two of them being singles, and he won his only doubles match that season.

Woodson gets his first chance to lead a young team Friday, Sept. 16 when the team travels to Indiana for the Valparaiso Invitational.

Dillan Schorfheide can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]