Fresh off a semifinal appearance at the ASAA tennis state championships in the mixed doubles bracket, JDHS senior Edward Hurtte reflects on his tennis career and possible plans for next year. Hurtte, an accomplished table tennis player and wing for the boys' varsity basketball team, also discusses two of his other passions outside of tennis.
When and how did tennis become an interest of yours?
"I started playing my junior year because it was a sport that didn't interfere with basketball. I like racket sports so I decided to give it a try and I ended up really enjoying it."
What was the experience of going to the state tennis tournament like?
"It was pretty fun to see the different competitive levels of tennis; seeing some kids who had been playing their whole life and seeing how good they were. It was fun to play some other competition outside of Southeast. I went to state for mixed doubles with Sage (Davenport) and we won our first two games against teams from Bartlett and Service. We ended up losing our next two games, but it was still a good experience and we ended up getting fourth in state. We got a medal, so that was pretty cool."
What other racket sports do you play?
"I play table tennis and racquetball. I enjoy playing racket sports because once you get the hang of one of them it carries over to the next sport."
How did table tennis become an interest?
"I started off playing with my dad; he showed me how to hit. He had a few clients from AEL&P that played twice a week that were pretty good, so I decided it would be fun to give it a try. Watching their level of play really motivated me to take my table tennis to the next step. My freshmen year, I tried out for the Arctic Winter Games in Anchorage. I made the team and went up to Yellow Knife (Canada), and that was fun just seeing the different cultures and seeing how competitive table tennis can be. I ended up going to the Arctic Winter Games as a junior and I had a great time with that. The first year I got two bronze Ulus - one in mixed doubles and one in doubles. My junior year I got a bronze in doubles. I guess it's a mixture between a sport and a hobby. As I grow older I want to continue to be able to play sports and table tennis is a sport that you can be competitive in regardless of your age. I just see it as a life-long hobby and as something fun I can do."
You also play basketball, what are your expectations for the boy's team this year?
"I think we'll have a good squad this year. We lost a lot of seniors last year but the core of our team is back. I think we'll be pretty solid."
What are your academic interests?
"I'm enjoying my math class, BC Calculus. It's hard but it's interesting. In calculus you feel accomplished when you finally solve a problem, especially when it's a long, difficult one. It takes so long and once you finally get the answer it's like, "Oh wow, that's cool," and I guess it kind of makes sense. I've enjoyed my science classes throughout high school as well."
Mr. Potter, your basketball coach, is also your math teacher. Is that weird?
"No, he's a good teacher and I think it helps. You can see how his coaching carries over to his teaching. He's really good at breaking down problems in easier terms to understand. It's nice having him as a teacher because when we're out of school for basketball trips, they usually don't do anything in class while we're gone. So I don't fall behind in that class."
What are your plans for next year?
"I'm still in the process of looking for colleges. If I were to go to a college out of state, it would be a school in the Midwest because I have a lot of family there and it's where my sister goes to college. If I don't find a college that fits my interests that's out of state then I will probably go to UAA, get my prerequisites done and then transfer to a college out of state. I've been looking in the field of medicine, and if not, a profession in health care and maybe business. Right now I'm just trying to keep my GPA up and I'm putting in some work at the career center after school a few days a week."