Santa Rosa Academy gets its own tennis team

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It has been a long time in the making, but it is finally here — Santa Rosa Academy (SRA) has its own tennis team. SRA students and parents have been interested in forming a team for several years.

One of the main obstacles was that SRA doesn’t have its own tennis courts. Practices and matches would have to take place at alternate locations.

Last year, student Emily Hoos gathered a list of approximately 15 high school students who were interested in playing tennis for SRA. SRA Occupational Therapist Melissa Albright’s own children began to play tennis recreationally last year. Their interest in the sport led her to inquire with Daniel Torress, SRA’s Athletic Director, about the possibility of SRA having a tennis team.

Parent Dale Welty, whose son Nick is a tennis player and SRA student, was also actively pursing the idea of a school team. He had discussions with Daniel and several meetings with him, Principal Nick Sterns and Executive Director Laura Badillo. Everyone was supportive and positive about developing a team for the school.

As the interest list grew, so did the enthusiasm. The dream of having a team looked like it was within reach. Daniel helped direct Melissa on the steps needed to create the school’s team and asked if she would be the advisor for the SRA Tennis Club. Melissa accepted with hesitation and began organizing the new club.

With the support from Daniel, Nick and SRA middle and high school principals, the Tennis Club was created by the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

The students in the club worked had over the summer. They participated in weekly practices, took lessons with local Tennis Coach Brien Sullivan and attended a special tennis CrossFit class three days a week at Inland Valley CrossFit.

Their hard work paid off. At the end of summer, the team competed in the Open Junior Tennis Tournament in Canyon Lake. Most of the kids on the SRA team had never competed in a tournament, some had picked up a tennis racket for the first time at the beginning of summer.

The team has grown to 30 kids since its inception. Melissa has dedicated countless hours developing the team and Brien has been nothing sort of an inspiration to the kids.

SRA students interested in joining the tennis team should contact Melissa Albright at 858-342-6230. SRA is an independent public charter school for grades TK through 12.

The school was established in 2005 and hosted by the Menifee Unified School District. More than 100 Canyon Lake kids attend the school.

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Kellie Welty