DUNLAP, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — After rain canceled a Saturday practice, the Dunlap tennis team found a way to make a difference in their community. Administrators at Dunlap Valley Middle School were looking for help assembling patio tables for a new outdoor learning space. And the Eagles came flying in to assist.
“We though this would be a great opportunity for our boys to give back and learn a skill and do something as a team other than hitting on the tennis courts,” Dunlap assistant tennis coach John Allison said.
Around 20 members of the tennis program, freshman through seniors, volunteered their service to help set up six patio tables. That served as great bonding experience for all involved.
“The younger generation sees you giving back and you are setting a good example for them to go ahead and do the same thing,” Dunlap senior Harry Garner said. “You know the kids sitting at those tables will one day be on these courts or on the football field, so it’s a good thing to give back and for them to see that.”
“Personally after being in the district for 11 or so years, all the great experiences that I’ve had and the things that I’ve learned, it’s great to just give some of that back,” Dunlap senior Max Elloye added.
And while they didn’t get to work on their backhand or their serving, the lessons learned by assembling the tables may far outweigh any lessons gained on a tennis court.
“Regardless if it’s singles or doubles, tennis is a team sport,” Dunlap senior Aryan Paul said. “It kind of connects to community service because we got to put other people before ourselves and you can never do too much for the community. So those are the things that stick with you past the season.”
“To have 20 guys come out on a Saturday when they could very have easily stayed home just shows the character of these boys and their families,” Allison said. “And that they knew this was bigger than them.”