Regan Keating Interview by Larissa Chelius Nomination & Photography by Dennielle Stull of Solid Rock Photos Ohio Issue 15
The Nomination: Regan Keating is an inspiring teen for many reasons! She cares about community. She has a sweet soul. She qualified for State in doubles tennis. She is much more than a picture. She is kind, understanding, and friendly to everyone she meets. How long have you been playing tennis? I started playing tennis when I was in 8th grade. I started late, but immediately realized tennis was for me! So naturally I played tennis in my freshman, sophomore, and senior year. I am happy to say I lettered all three years. I was not able to play my junior year, because I needed back surgery, which meant a 6-month recovery. At first, I was sad to not be able to play for four years, but the break from tennis allowed me to reflect on life.
What has tennis taught you? It has taught me to never give up. After my back surgery I did not know if I even wanted to play, but I did and worked hard through the season to eventually make it to state. Tennis also taught me about friendship. I couldn't had made it to state without my doubles partner. I am grateful for the friendship we developed throughout our season.
Do you see yourself playing tennis in the future? I had considered playing in college after some offers, but I think I would rather just focus on school and play tennis for fun in my spare time.
Do you participate in other activities? I tutor ESL kids after school once a week. We work on homework, play games, and learn a bible story. I also am a member of Youth to Youth which is a prevention club. We get to go to our middle school and help mentor kids on topics like mental health. Another hobby I have recently picked up is taking ballroom dance classes and salsa classes.
What do you have planned for your future? I really want to travel and experience new cultures. My goal is to become fluent in Spanish and work as an interpreter or become an immigration lawyer.
Regan was featured in Issue 15 of Inspiring Teens Magazine.
Grant Eubanks - 18 - Mississippi Interviewed by Zoe D'Angelo Nomination & Photography by Sonja Shamblin from Keepsake Photography Issue 18 | Sports
The Nomination: Grant Eubanks is a senior at George County High School, where he will be graduating with highest honors. Grant is inspirational for his drive and determination, not only in academics but sports. Grant has played tennis for his high school since 7th grade and qualified for state championships two years in a row. He hopes he qualifies this year as well his senior season.
How did you become interested in starting a career in tennis?
My interest in the game of tennis began out of curiosity. I had heard the stories of two of my uncles playing on their high school teams, and I decided that I wanted to try my hand at tennis, so my dad and I found a teaching pro at The Mobile Tennis Center. After every lesson, I began to enjoy the game more and more. My enjoyment quickly turned into a passion for a game that I had just started playing. I had no idea that 8 years later I would be the singles player for my school, two-time qualifier for the state championships, and ranked in the top forty in Mississippi at sixteen.
How does playing tennis help you inspire others? I think that my involvement in tennis inspires others because tennis is not a sport that gets much attention. I do my best to inspire more people to play and have managed to grow the tennis community in my town considerably. I have helped many people discover the game that I love so dearly.
Tell me about your experiences qualifying for the state championships.
When I was a sophomore, I became one of the few players from my school to qualify for the state championships and the first to qualify in boy’s singles. After qualifying, I was elated, and I celebrated with my teammates. The next year, I qualified playing mixed doubles, but in addition to qualifying, my partner and I won the district mixed doubles championships.
What advice would you give to a young person who wants to be a tennis player? Since I have the privilege of coaching and advising young players in my community, I would advise younger people that wanted to start playing tennis to go out and find a professional coach: this makes all the difference later in one’s tennis career. When I started going to tennis lessons, my knowledge of the game grew as well as my passion.
Do you plan in continuing to play tennis in the future?
After finishing high school, I will play tennis for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. After playing in junior college, I am going to play in adult leagues and on USTA teams. I am also considering getting my USTA coaching certification. Tennis is the game that anyone can play for their entire life, and I plan on playing as long as I am able.
Grant will be featured in Issue 18 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!
Article & Image By Simme Salguero Pennsylvania Issue 15
I started tennis at the YMCA when I was 7 years old, and absolutely loved it! When I became more advanced, I started going to the Township tennis court and took lessons there as well.
When I heard there was a tennis club in middle school, I knew immediately I wanted to participate. We had the option to play singles or doubles. When our first practice came, I was super excited! When our first match came along, my partner and I were both kind of nervous, but luckily it was a home match which made us a bit more confident. We WON 4 to 6 and it felt really exciting to be playing again!!
My entire experience playing tennis was and still is amazing. I always have a blast playing and often think to myself how lucky I am to even have the privilege to play tennis! I want to play tennis next year, in five years and for my entire life!
Tennis, By Simme Salguero, was published in Issue 15 of Inspiring Teens Magazine.