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Girls Tennis

Tennis has made its way back to Otsego County after about 40 years

GAYLORD - After about 40 years, tennis has made its way back to Gaylord and Otsego County. The last time that Gaylord high school had a tennis team was in the 1980s, and it was just for boys. This year things have changed and there is now a team that is open to all girls’ high school students in Otsego County.

The president of the Alpine Regional Tennis Association, Sheila Simpson, said that the groundwork was in place for a team.

“We didn’t have the courts and since we built the courts, these opened in 2018. We raised over $300,000 to do that, the Alpine Regional Tennis Association. Once the courts were here, we knew we could then build a team in the future.” Said Simpson. “It took a while, but we’ve been working with the youth for a long time, and this is the year we got great coaches who are very talented, and they make it fun.”


When it was first starting, the team was playing inside, but the girls learned quickly said Jennie Boike, who is one of the coaches.

“Just in the hallways at my school, the middle school and we were able to go over just general fundamentals there and I would explain it once and then they like did it and I’m like, never had that before.” Said Boike. “For them to come onto the court and apply it was unbelievable the application of what they were able to do.”

There are over 20 girls on the squad and even though the team isn’t recognized as a varsity squad, they have played matches against other schools. Tennis has become something they are passionate about and enjoy.

“Our practices have been so fun, like I don’t dread coming to practice because I love being here.” Said Lydia Signorello, a senior at Gaylord high school. “I just really love my team; I love teammates I love my coaches.”


Daniel Hawkins is another one of the coaches for the squad, and the growth that he has seen has been incredible.

“It’s so cool because we’ve got the girls that have been playing a little while and then every level and everything in between and to see girls that only a few months ago didn’t know how to keep score, go out and win a match and to have that, you know, feeling of elation, they’re so excited.” Said Hawkins. “They accomplished something that they didn’t know they could do. It’s been really rewarding for us as coaches. That’s why we do this because we love seeing them excited about playing and then even when they lose, we always say you either win or you learn and so when you lose, you’re still learning.

The hope in the future is to become a varsity team, and to have a boys tennis team in the fall.

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