PENDLETON — Drew Wilson calls himself “The Lone Ranger,” referring to his status as the only senior on this year’s Pendleton Heights boys tennis team.
As the leader and returning No. 1 singles player from a year ago, Wilson hopes to improve on his junior season; with a renewed focus and family support, he said he feels ready to do just that.
Formerly a two-sport athlete, Wilson decided to give up basketball this year and focus on tennis. He said that was the big lesson he learned in 2016, during his first year playing every team’s best competitor as the No. 1 singles player.
“I learned that everyone plays more than me,” he said. “That was my big downfall, because I didn’t play a lot (of tennis) when I played basketball. I’m dedicating more time to tennis and hoping to make the best of it.”
With more time spent working on his tennis game, he hopes to have a better outcome this season, both for himself and the team.
“I hope to be at least above .500 because I had a subpar record last year to my personal goals,” he said. “I hope to achieve that, and I hope (the team) can compete every night — I’m good with that.”
Wilson has been playing tennis since he was 6, introduced to the game by his grandfather. He said tennis has always been a family game and that his family’s support means everything to him.
“It does mean a lot, because my parents have put a lot aside for me — their time and their money,” he said. “I appreciate and love them for that.”
He has an older sister at Indiana Wesleyan University and a younger sister at Pendleton Heights. He said support from them is another matter.
“That’s a different story,” he said. “Usually, if they were at my matches, they didn’t have a choice. But they’re great girls, and I love them.”
Wilson plans to visit Ball State University but has not decided on a school or a major yet. He transferred to Pendleton Heights in sixth grade and, after learning of the athletic traditions there, he is proud to be a part of the school’s history.
“It didn’t mean much to me at first because I was a transfer,” he said. “As the years have gone by, it’s a nice culture — great people, great athletics, past championship record — and I’m glad to be an Arabian.”