Spring Signing Week '11: National Roundup
by Dallas Oliver, 12 April 2011
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Signing Week is underway, and tomorrow, senior tennis players will begin signing their National Letters of Intent with Division I and Division II schools. We have been tracking verbal commitments since the beginning of the academic year (boys, girls), and throughout the remainder of the week, we will be featuring commitment announcements and comments from a variety of boys and girls.
Today, we hear comments from diverse tennis players across the country in our National Roundup. We talked with several recruits who have made their college selection. We asked them about their college choices - and how they reached their decisions.
Here is a whirlwind tour around the country to review these verbal commitments. They have some great things to say...
Calvin Mark (Union City, Calif.) to Navy
Five-star senior Calvin Mark is from California, and he takes advantage of the fact that there is a lot of good tennis available close to home. Over the past year, his only trip out-of-state was to Kalamazoo for The Nationals, but he has recorded a number of strong wins over Blue Chip and 5-Star opponents. His highlights include winning the Easter Bowl doubles title in 2009. Mark considered a number of strong academic schools - including Air Force Dartmouth, Cornell, and Davidson - before deciding to enroll at the United States Naval Academy.
You chose a lot of great academic schools. What factors when into your decision?
My primary factors for my main college choices were the long distances from home, the education and the quality tennis team. Since I always wanted to do engineering, I selected schools with strong programs.
What do you like about the Naval Academy?
It has always been my dream to go to a military academy. The campus at Annapolis is by far the best one I have ever seen. The tennis team has made the NCAA tournament for about seven straight years - meaning they have a great tennis team. Also they have a great aerospace engineering program, and it gives me a chance to pursue my dream as a pilot.
What do you like about the coaching staff?
Coach Officer is extremely committed to his team. He has a great understanding of the mechanics of tennis, and he is quick to help others when needed. He also helped me a lot through the recruiting process since I was new to it.
Do you have goals or expectations for your freshman year?
My primary goal for freshman year is to be able to perform well. College tennis is apparently a big transition, and I hope I am able to adapt well to a higher level.
I am also very excited to be playing on a team - I have never played team sports of any kind other than doubles. I have watched some college tennis matches and have seen how intense and exciting they can be. I am really looking forward to that - tenni will no longer be such a solitary sport.
Since I am also going to a military academy, I am excited yet nervous about the intense military life. I know that the first year of the academy will be the hardest. After hearing many stories about the plebe year, I know what to expect. However, first-hand experience will always be different than hearing other people's stories.