RHS ECHO: Online student news

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RHS ECHO: Online student news

RHS ECHO: Online student news

Cooper and Kuchar Rally for College Tennis

Cooper+and+Kuchar+Rally+for+College+Tennis
Michelle Bai

According to the Oxford Dictionary a friend is “a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection.” Seniors Cameron Cooper and Owen Kuchar cemented their friendship in fifth grade. The pair have played on the Rolla High School tennis team since their freshman year and have committed to continue to play tennis and take on college together at Southern Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri.
Cooper is a year round athlete at RHS; he’s on the soccer field during the fall, the basketball court during the winter, and the tennis court during the spring. Kuchar convinced Cooper to try tennis with him freshman year, which has led the boys to their future at SBU.
“I quit baseball a few years before [freshman year] and I had nothing to do in the spring, so I asked Coop to play tennis that year. [We] both agreed to play tennis,” Kuchar said.
The boys stuck with the sport, but neither of them expected their agreement to eventually influence their college decision.
“I figured [I’d sign for] soccer because my whole life has been soccer. Like I started playing soccer when I was five years old. And then tennis was just way more fun for me,” Cooper said.
Kuchar spent time on the football and basketball teams before joining the tennis team with Cooper. Kuchar’s initial experience with tennis was lackluster, but his improvement in rankings fueled his ambitions over time.
“So freshman year I was [ranked] like fifteen on the team…I didn’t expect to do anything good with it. The next year I got to like eight, seven, six areas [and I] started playing varsity doubles. The next year [I] played varsity singles for the first time. And now I’m three, want to be two. I mean, it’s tough competition,” Kuchar said.
While growing in the sport, both Cooper and Kuchar learn how to move and communicate with a partner in a doubles match.
“So whenever we’re serving, the other guy mainly does all the work at the net. Then whenever we’re returning, you have to work together about who’s going to be a net who’s gonna play the backline,” Cooper said. “You have to talk a lot if you want to be good.”
Cooper and Kuchar’s ongoing partnership on the tennis court reveals characteristics that they might not admit about themselves. Cooper recognizes the intensity that Kuchar brings to the court.
“[Owen’s] very passionate and animated. He plays with a lot of emotion,” Cooper said.
Kuchar notices how Cameron’s approach to the game takes a different turn, with his emotions occasionally boiling over into frustration.
“I mean, [Cameron] gets a little angry…I’ve seen him break a few rackets,” Kuchar said.
Although they don’t approach the game the same mentally, Cooper and Kuchar share a favorite memory of playing for the RHS tennis team.
“Last year, first round of individual districts. It was me and Cameron, and we went against a good Helias team. I mean, we beat them pretty bad. It wasn’t too close but they started arguing with us [over] some calls, so you know how good it felt to beat him right after that,” Kuchar said.
The fierce duo are looking forward to finishing their senior season positively with a future as roommates in the fall at SBU. Kuchar expressed his feelings about going to college with Cooper.
“[It’s] way better than, like, if you were to go to some random college by yourself,” Kuchar said. “You know, you have someone to rely on, someone you can always talk to.”

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About the Contributors
Abigail Kestle
Abigail Kestle, Sports Editor
Hi, I’m Abby Kestle. This is my second year as the sports editor of ECHO. I’m a senior and I participate in soccer, Society of Women Engineers, NHS, and more. I enjoy photography, listening to music, and watching sports.
Michelle Bai
Michelle Bai, Feature Editor
Hello! My name is Michelle and I’m a senior this year. This is my second year in ECHO. I participate in band (front ensemble), Stuco, FIDO, and I’m hoping to join more clubs this year. In my spare time, I love listening to Taylor Swift with Tyler.