The BCC Tennis Academy 14U team came through two rounds of competition to make it to the Junior Team Tennis Finals on Wednesday afternoon at Edmond Center Court. In the first round the kids played a solid team from St. Louis and came out on top 48-29. Our team was back on the court at 6:30 am on Wednesday morning for warm-ups to prepare for the next round of competition against the OKC Elite from the Oklahoma City Tennis Center. Each of our players really stepped up to secure a 51-27 win and advance to the Finals.
The winner of the other pool play was a powerhouse team out of the Overland Park Racquet Club in Overland Park, Kansas. OPRC was strong from the top of their line-up to the bottom. After completing the Boys and Girls Singles and Boys and Girls Doubles matches the BCCTA team was trailing by 5 games with only one match to go, Mixed Doubles. Trailing by 5 games meant that our Mixed Doubles team of Noah Gou and Tokara Henderson were down 0-5 before they even stepped foot on the court.
On Monday, before matches began on Tuesday morning, we had a team meeting and Bible study. We read Matthew 14:23-31, the story of Jesus coming to the disciples on the Sea of Galilee when a storm was raging. In the story, when the disciples realize it is Jesus, Simon Peter asks, “Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “Come on.” Peter stepped out of the boat and onto the water, making his way to Jesus. Things were going just fine until Peter began to look at the waves and the wind instead of Jesus…then he began to sink. We told the kids, “A storm is coming your way during the next two days. We don’t know what it will be–it could be the heat, you might not be playing your best, your opponent may make a bad call…the list is endless as to what the storm might me. Don’t be distracted by the storm–keep your eyes on Jesus!”
Noah and Tokara could have easily been distracted by the “storm” of being down 0-5 before they ever began playing, but they kept their focus on the Lord and using the gifts He has given them to play tennis for His glory. When the last point was completed Tokara and Noah had won 6-2 6-1 and all of the BCCTA team joined them on the court to celebrate! What an amazing lesson for all of life! Don’t let the storms distract you, keep your eyes on Jesus at all times.
What’s next? Well, our team will travel to the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida where they will have the opportunity to compete for the 14U Junior Team Tennis National Championship on October 6-9. This will be the first time since 2019 the USTA has held the JTT National Championships because of Covid. The USTA National Campus has 100 courts spread across 64 acres and it will be an incredible experience for our kids. Congratulations to Alma and Andrea Mendoza, John Paul and Grey Dillon, Raleigh Miller, Tokara Henderson, Noah Gou, Braver Reineke, Levi Solomon, and T.J. Shanahan! Also, a huge “thank you” goes out to our phenomenal coaches, Jessica Reineke, Brad Lund, and Rob Braver! Thanks for pouring into the lives of our kids in so many ways.