As senior Biochemistry student Sam Son reaches the end of his final season on the men’s tennis team, he looks back on his experience with profound happiness.
Son ventured into tennis long before attending ENC. He would often watch members of his church play on the courts, and they encouraged him to join in. He eventually realized he wanted to pursue the game further, and Son’s parents sought instruction for him.
Shortly after, his tennis career began. Son joined his high school team in Wilbraham, Mass., a team that excelled in their conference. While in Wilbraham, he performed as the second ranked player of his team.
When Son made the decision to come to ENC, he initially decided to not continue his tennis career. However, ENC men’s tennis players invited Son to hit the courts, and eventually recruited him to join.
“In my application I wrote that I played tennis, [so] the coach knew about it and he told the tennis players to go look for me,” Son explained.
Son then played tennis full-time his freshman year, but struggled to balance his demanding major with athletics during his sophomore and junior years. He hopes to see a change in the academic support for athletes.
“I think that there needs to be… a different system for athletes, so that they’re able to get a good education, and at the same time be able to play tennis, do what they love,” Son shared.
With a lighter coarse load this year Son dedicated more time to his game, and as a result currently holds winning individual records of 7-3 in singles matches and 8-4 in doubles.
Throughout his years of playing tennis at ENC, Son has learned to value communication, perseverance, and support.
“Tennis is a weird sport where… no matter how far you’re down, you can always make a comeback,” Son said. “So never give up and always support your teammates.”
Son and two other seniors – Sam McKay Corkum (Rehoboth, Mass.) and Tyler Perron (Plympton, Mass.) – are retiring from the ENC men’s tennis team, so he encourages tennis-playing students to try out for the team next year.
Son has no intentions to pursue tennis on a competitive level, but wishes to continue playing as a hobby as he moves on to medical school after graduation.