I would like to first and foremost say that I am beyond excited to be a part of the Ohio State athletic family for another year. It has been an honor to play for the Scarlet and Grey for the last five seasons. I have always felt loved and appreciated by everyone in the athletic department – my teammates, the coaches, the advisors, and the Athletic Department staff. There really is something special about being a Buckeye.
The past few weeks, everyone has been hit hard by COVID-19. It has been a very strange time and not something I could have ever imagined would happen. For me personally, the rollercoaster of emotions began when the rest of my senior season was cancelled by the NCAA. I was in the midst of my best season yet as a Buckeye with aspirations to take our team to a Big 10 championship and NCAA title. In the span of a week, I went from thinking I only had two months left in college tennis to realizing I might never play college tennis again.
During this waiting period, I held out hope that the NCAA would give me a chance to compete one more year and go out on my terms. When the vote came out earlier this week, the first thing I felt was an overwhelming peace and excitement. Most of all, I am excited to be a sixth-year captain to a still very young Buckeye tennis team. I cannot wait to have another year to influence every guy on our team and build a culture of toughness and togetherness.
These past few weeks have changed my life drastically. I went from thinking I was graduating and planning to play tennis on my own for a bit, to having another chance to play college tennis and start a master’s program. Through all of this uncertainty, if I have learned anything, I have learned that God is in control. Amidst the chaos, this has possibly been the most peaceful time of my life. It has reinforced to me how fragile life is and how important moments and relationships with others can be.
I would like to say thank you to my coaches Ty Tucker, Justin Kronauge, and David Schilling. When I was being recruited, Ty saw more potential in me than possibly any other coach. He knew what buttons to push and how to develop me into the player that I am today. Ty has brought me from a red shirt out of the lineup to possibly one of the winningest Buckeyes of all time when my career winds down next year. He has prepared me to be a man and given me the tools to be successful in every stage of life. Mostly I am thankful that I know I will always have a lifelong coach and friend in Ty.
Lastly, I would like to thank Ohio State for giving me the path to be successful in all areas of my life. Ohio State has a special place in my heart, and I will always be a forever Buckeye. It is an honor to represent OSU. I look forward to competing and finishing strong.