This week, Jenn Chapman introduces us to tennis player, Elliott Sprecher, who has been nationally ranked in his age group since the age of 12, in our Gordy's Athlete of the Week.
Elliott Sprecher/Tennis Player from Cadott: “I went to my first match, I didn’t really know what to expect, I was kind of excited. I won the match, I was like oh my gosh, I’m gonna go pro. Then I lost my next match badly and I decided I might have to rethink that but I’ve stuck with it so far.”
Elliott Sprecher may not have gone pro after his first tennis match at the age of 10, but six years later he earned a third seed at the coveted Easter Bowl, the highest national seed any Wisconsin tennis player has ever received.
Matt Sem/PTR Certified Tennis Professional: “There is not really one weakness in his game. He’s got very good stamina. Serving, he’s got a very good serve. So I wouldn’t think there’s anything really, maybe serving volley a bit, but adding that will help him out, maybe complete his whole overall game.”
Elliott won sectionals last July in Minnesota, was a semifinalist in the USTA National Winter Championships in December, and was the recipient of the Jerry Noyce Junior Sportsmanship Award…but he isn’t done yet.
Sprecher: “I want to play in four year at a D1 school and then after that see where it takes me. But I think I have a lot of room for improvement, I think that my game has a lot of room to become something better.”
Even before Elliott started playing tennis he was homeschooled. Unlike most of his competitors who do the same in warm weather states, Elliott has to make the most of his indoor training, thriving off his nickname of Farm Boy from Cadott, Wisconsin.
Sprecher: “I do come from a farm, I have 10 horses. We raise hay. It’s 80 acres. I like four wheeling in my spare time. During the summer we have to put up the hay crop and lift bales into lofts. At tournaments people are like oh this guy is from Wisconsin, you know who’s he? Nobody good comes from Wisconsin."
Sem: “He has that edge that athletes have that get in a zone and you can’t teach that. And he being from Wisconsin he wants to prove to people that you don’t have to be from California or Florida to be a top level player.”
The personable, 16 year old says he has grown as an athlete and as a person through sharing his love for the sport at the YMCA Tennis Center in Eau Claire.
Mark Pepperl/11 year old tennis student: "I like learning from Elliott because he is a really good tennis player and he taught me it's better to miss long than in the net."
Sprecher: “Teaching other people even if they’re not quite your level, it teaches you a lot about your own game. It makes you think what can you do different? What can you do here?"
Next up for Elliott, is a national open in Michigan in May. For Athlete of the Week, Jenn Chapman, SportScene13.