“There was nothing easy about this decision!” Those are the words of Athletic Director Barry Brandt in regards to the decision to cut the tennis program.
After two years of meetings and discussions with the city and the administration, the program was officially cut last year at the end of the season.
The tennis courts that the teams were using are owned by the city of Orange City and are in desperate need of repair.
However, due to a lack of interest in the sport from the community, fixing up the courts was not a top priority for the city.
Also the college had problems with the courts because many of the teams that we played against would not come here to play, and the safety of the players as they practiced became an issue.
Coach Kris Korver said, “When you show someone the Bultman Center they go, ‘Wow’, when they look at the football field, soccer fields and the weight room they do the same thing, but when you show someone the tennis courts their response is quite the opposite.”
As for the players, their feelings were fairly predictable from frustration to sadness, but eventually acceptance.
Sophomore Brandi Hommer said, “Just go step on the courts, and you will know why we are in need of new courts.”
Another player said, “It just stinks!”, while junior Tracy Scott said, “I can see why, but I think there could have been other ways to handle it.”
For most of these players, tennis has been a huge part of their lives and now that part is gone. Tracy has been playing tennis since the fifth grade and has spent many tireless hours trying to improve, while Brandi has done the same for the last five years.
Despite the loss of the program, this decision could just be temporary. According to Brandt there is a chance that a couple of years down the line the program could be reinstated.
Brandt has met with some of the city officials to try and form a long-range plan that would meet the needs of the city, the student body, and the sports teams. It may be just a matter of time.