By Kyle LoJacono
Wiregrass Ranch boys tennis coach and athletic director Dave
Wilson still remembers the first day Eric Busch came to tryouts two years ago.
“We had 25 kids, and I put them in five groups from the best
looking tennis players to the least, and we put Eric in the lowest group,”
Wilson said. “Then I saw someone serve and I instantly moved him up to the top
The move has benefited the Bulls since Busch’s family moved to
the area from Texas during his junior year. Wiregrass Ranch won consecutive
district titles and a pair of Sunshine Athletic Conference championships while going
16-2 in 2012.
Busch’s efforts earned him two trips to
the state tournament, once with his team last year and for doubles as a senior,
while also giving him the opportunity to play at Huntingdon College, a Division
III program in Alabama where he will study preveterinary care.
“It’s so amazing because so few people
get the chance to do this,” Busch said. “It’s been my dream to play tennis in
college since I started.”
Busch was drawn to the courts in sixth
grade because his older brother, Brandon, played in high school.
The newly signed Hawk went 9-0 in
singles play as a senior and 14-0 in doubles with teammate Courage Okungbowa. The
pairing won a district title to qualify for states.
Busch said he likes to stay at the
baseline to start matches before working his way toward the net. He said he has
been focusing on improving his groundstrokes to become a more complete player.
“I’m going to work hard this whole
summer so I can compete for one of the top spots as a freshman,” Busch said. “I
want to make an impact right away.”
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