Summer 2014 is in full swing at the Stone house. My son finished his junior year of high school as of May 20th, and immediately started training hard to get ready for the state qualifier to our sectional closed tournament. He had a very good tournament, playing seven (7) matches in 3 days, winning five of them, and ensuring entry into Southerns which begins this Saturday. Needless to say, his body needed a few days to recover after the Qualifier, but after taking time away from the court and the gym, he hit both hard to make sure he is in optimal condition (the humidity levels here are ridiculous!) for what will likely be the biggest tournament he plays this summer.
Southerns is sanctioned for 7 days, so, depending on how he does, we’ll come home for a day or two (hopefully, not more than that!) before heading to our state clay court open tournament. After that, we’re heading down to the Florida Gulf Coast with my extended family for a week of R&R for me and a mix of rest and tennis for my son. He’s bringing a tennis buddy with us to the beach so they can hit each day because we’re driving straight from the beach to Florida State University for his first ITA Summer Circuit tournament of the summer. We’ll combine the tournament with some campus visits around the area, too – we’re still mapping out our route through Florida – and will wind up in South Florida where, hopefully, my son will have a chance to play in the Qualies for the National Clay Court tournament in Delray Beach. If he doesn’t get into the Qualies, that’s okay because there are some schools he wants to see in that part of Florida, too, so we’ll make the most of the fact that we’ll have our own car and can go at our own pace.
After our Florida Tour, we’ll be home for a few days to regroup . . . and do laundry! Then, it’s off to the West Coast to celebrate my son’s birthday, do more college visits, play another ITA event, and train again with Craig Cignarelli, Lester Cook, and, hopefully, Amir Marandy, too. While my son is on the courts, my husband and I are hoping to steal a bit of beach and family time and to take advantage of all our favorite SoCal haunts. Unfortunately, our oldest daughter, Emma, who lives in Los Angeles, will be away while we’re there, but the plus side of that is we’ll have use of her cute little Mustang convertible – FUN!
At the end of almost two weeks in California, we’ll fly back home for a few days and keep our fingers crossed that we have a reason to head up to Kalamazoo for the National Hard Court Qualies. Because school starts so early here (August 4th this year – ugh!), if my son does happen to get into Kalamazoo, he will wind up missing the first few days of his senior year of high school, but I’m hoping his teachers will be understanding of his situation and cut him a bit of slack – we’ll see!
It’s hard to believe that this is my son’s last full year in the Juniors, but our journey is nearing its end. I feel very lucky to have the chance to spend so much time with him this summer as he continues to work toward his goal of playing college tennis. I realize these opportunities are going to be few and far between once he leaves the nest next Fall, and I’m savoring every single moment while I have the chance.