WICHITA, Kan.—When she was 5 years old, senior Lindy Wilkerson followed her sister’s footsteps to a green court and swung a racket for the first time. Now, as a three-time state qualifier for Northwest and one of the top tennis players in the state, Wilkerson can only hope to keep up with what she has achieved in the past.
“Each year I’ve grown more experienced,” Wilkerson said. “Tennis really teaches you how to be mentally tough.”
“This year I’m not really taking it too seriously,” Wilkerson said. “I’m just kind of having fun because I’ve already accomplished a lot that I wanted to.”
Wilkerson believes the team will continue to be competitive in years to come, even after losing four seniors. The team, and especially new players, look to her for advice and seek out her leadership. As a team player, Wilkerson is willing to give guidance to anyone who requests it.
“When I was a freshman we had senior leaders,” she said. “This year, we seniors lead the stretches and just give other people on the team tips, especially the ones who haven’t played very long. [My leadership] is just giving advice and helping practice run smoothly.”
Leaving tennis behind will not be easy for Wilkerson. She has always been pushed by others and herself to be better than the year before. Out of everything, she said that the team aspect will be what she misses the most.
“I’ll miss just being a part of a team, playing for a team, and team activities,” Wilkerson said.
Wilkerson hopes to lead the team to a top three finish in the GWAL tournament September 29 at the Coleman Tennis Center. She believes that one particular piece of instructions is the greatest for this season’s team and years to come.
“The best advice is probably just to have fun and not let anyone intimidate them,” Wilkerson said.
Wilkerson and the Grizzlies play their next match at 3 p.m. Tuesday, September 25 at Goddard.