Written and Media by Ransom Cochrane.
Athletes travel from all across the country to play sports at a higher level. They start at the bottom as a freshman and gradually grow in their game and as a person. For some athletes, this comes naturally, but for others, it takes time to evolve. Coaches are very good at seeing potential in their student-athletes. Coaches put these athletes into leadership roles to tap into that talent and hope they can lead the team. That is exactly what head coach for the women’s tennis team, Brett Brannon, did with Allison Fennewald.
Coach Brannon assigned Fennewald head captain of the women’s team. Fennewald explains, “Last year playing the number one spot as a sophomore, I was chosen by the head and assistant coaches because they noticed I had a lot of leadership skills. Transitioning into this year with a new coach and players, I have been able to help out with the new changes. Last year, I had some big shoes to fill following our now-assistant coach, Lexi Baysinger, who was previously in the number one spot and team captain.” Fennewald is one of two upperclassmen on the team, with the rest of the athletes being either of freshman or sophomore status. Being the captain, Fennewald must use her knowledge to help and lead her team to a successful season.
Fennewald is currently a junior and has been a part of the team for two years. She was very intimidated last year being an underclassman who was leading upperclassmen, but she is so humbled to maintain the position this season and lead the young team. Fennewald has been in many leadership roles that can transition into her role as captain and vice versa. These roles include president of EHS (Education Honor Society) and SAC (Student Athletic Committee), which is a group of student-athletes from each sport that brainstorm ideas to bring all sports together to support each other.
There are many reasons Fennewald is fit for the captain spot. She is very successful in the classroom and has been on dean’s list for three years. Additionally, she has experience as an underclassman and understands the struggle of being at a new school and team. She is very knowledgeable in the game of tennis. She can lead practices if Brannon and Baysinger are away. Her current leadership roles can be used to her advantage on and off the court. Whether it is personal or sports-related, Fennewald is there for her girls and leads them down the most successful path. She hopes to keep her captain position moving into her senior season, but it is always a competition and many obstacles are between her and next season. Fennewald is very passionate about her role as captain and speaks very highly of her teammates. She cannot wait to see what this season holds. Listen to this quick interview with Fennewald about being head captain of the GU Women’s Tennis Team! Also, if you haven’t already, check out Nate Wieland’s interview about his role as head captain!