Being told you’re going to miss out on our last college tennis meet can be a hard thing to swallow. Central College Senior West Adelman experienced this firsthand.
Adelman got a call saying he had to ship out for basic training earlier than expected. This meant he was going to miss his final college tennis meet against Wartburg.
Upon hearing the news, Head Tennis Coach Mike Strydom and his team decided there was something they could do to help. They decided to move up the date of the match so West could play.
“It’s important that we do honor our servicemen. They are making a bigger sacrifice than perhaps we will ever make having not done that sacrifice. And so being able to be put in that position where we can help out one of our servicemen was an honor for us,” Strydom said.
Junior Brandon Hornback was the one who would eventually play against West in the number one singles matchup. Hornback felt moving up the match was the right thing to do.
“I felt it was kind of like not in the spirit of the game to take advantage of somebody leaving for the military especially doing something great for our country when it was possible for us to move and accommodate the match so I was definitely all for moving the match,” Hornback said.
Strydom said his coach’s side and human side clashed with one another on what to do, but in the end he said the decision was pretty easy.
“Is this something we really want to do? We’ve practiced a longtime for Central and for sure we’re competitive. We definitely want to beat them,” Strydom said.
“We have such a storied history with Central and the rivalry has gone on for so many years with so many close matches. It seemed a shame to take advantage of the situation they were in and not continue that great rivalry,” Strydom added.
Hornback noted that playing Division III tennis has taught him and his teammates some valuable life lessons.
“We play like division three tennis so you know we are not top of the crop. We’re not getting paid to be out here,” Hornback said.
“It was us the feel of doing the right thing, rather than doing the thing to win. It was playing the game right rather than just playing to win. So that’s why I think the whole team came together and they wanted to play it right,” Hornback continued.
Coach Strydom spoke on behalf of the team before the match started and thanked West for his sacrifice and for everything he has done for IIAC over the last four years.