Orange Lutheran senior Spencer Sidell’s passion for playing tennis is rooted in the competitive nature of the sport, and while tennis may look on the surface to be mostly an individual effort, it is the team aspect of playing at the high school level that keeps it interesting.
“I like the competitiveness,” says Sidell. “There’s a lot to do with team, even though you’re playing yourself. All of the points you make matter…and the camaraderie is a huge part of it.”
Having his junior season cut short last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic and waiting through the uncertainty of the last 12 months have admittedly been challenging for Sidell. The 18-year old used the extra time to train and refine his skills, choosing to be grateful for the chance to work on his game.
“Adversity teaches us how to become better as a human being,” says Sidell. “We have to see the silver lining and appreciate that.”
With tennis recently given the green light to begin competition, Sidell is eager to get back onto the court. As a doubles player and a captain, his leadership will be key as he helps guide a mostly younger squad.
“Spencer started as a JV player in his freshman year with little experience in the game, and he worked hard on and off the court to become one of the best doubles players in the league,” says OLu tennis head coach, Flavio Rueda. “His positive attitude, ability to receive and implement feedback, and his hustle all make him the great person, student and athlete that he is now.”
Since tennis is a sport that requires strong mental acuity and is “easy to play but hard to master,” Sidell has learned the importance patience, listening and understanding.
“In every sport, you want to get better, and you want to go as hard as you can, and with that, usually you can see a lot of quick progress – it’s not like that in tennis,” says Sidell. “It takes so much time to progress just a little bit. There is so much fine detail that is a part of the game.”
Sidell serves the campus as Ignite Co-President, and each month he and his mom volunteer their time at the Orange Lutheran Thrift Shop, a ministry of OLu that provides financial support to students by serving the community.
Sidell’s future plans include studying molecular biology, likely at a college on the California coast. He is appreciative of the encouragement, support and feedback his parents and coaches have provided during his playing career. And through the ups and downs of injuries, cancelled seasons and stay-at-home orders, God has been Sidell’s constant.
“He was a huge comfort during that time,” says Sidell. “I didn’t realize he was that big of a presence in my life until then. I attribute much of what I have done in my game to him.”
To learn more about Spencer watch him in "The Walk" by clicking HERE.