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History teacher to lead tennis team

Carlie McNiff, Staff Writer

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There are certain components that new varsity girls’ tennis coach Alex Parr admires and enjoys about the sport of tennis.

“I like the etiquette of the game,” said Parr, who replaces Heather Barnard. “I like that there is a ton of control and decisions that the player has to make all of the time. It’s a great mental game. You need to be able to have great concentration and confidence, and also the ability to forgive yourself for any mistakes you’ll make. I like that it is a sport that people can play from the age of 5 to 90. Finally, I like that the game has some international recognition.”

Parr experienced these characteristics of the game while growing up and playing tennis during his high school years at Whitehall High School.

“Playing tennis in high school was memorable for me,” Parr said. “My coaches cared about their players outside of tennis, providing good lessons that went beyond the court. I grew in my athletic ability, mental toughness, and teamwork because of the tennis program and my coaches. I want to provide that same type of environment for the players on my team.”

After high school, Parr attended Grand Valley State University. He studied social studies as his major and history as his minor, preparing him for his future teaching career after graduation. He now teaches eighth grade history at Shores.

Parr, whose most recent coaching position was this past year at the middle school, said he is excited for all of the possibilities in the upcoming high school season.

“I’m looking forward to meeting students who I haven’t yet and reconnecting with those who I’ve taught before,” he said. “I’m ready to work hard to push Mona Shores to the top of our conference. I think this season will be very fun, and very rewarding. I can’t wait to get started.”

Parr said he has some goals he would like to accomplish in the season, and he wants his team to have input in them as well.

“I’d like to experience a great deal of success in the classroom,” Parr said. “I’ll be pitching the idea to my team to go for Academic All-State. I also want success on the court – performing well within our conference, giving our best effort, and being respected for our professionalism and sportsmanship.”

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