Tennis team forced to pay to use public courts


Gabrielle Rickley

Serving the ball to her opponent, sophomore Sophia Rubenstein starts the new point while junior Olivia Rickley waits for the return. Being the last team to play a doubles match against Omaha South High, Rubenstein and Rickley were the only thing standing between a loss or win. After a rough start, the girls pulled through and won 8-2, making the teams overall score 5-4.

Alondra Soltero Bravo, Reporter

After years of playing at Seymour Smith Park, tennis coach Ricardo Hernandez announced that practicing at their home court won’t be free anymore. This news confused many of the players as the park is public.

The park is now charging the tennis team five dollars for every day they practice. That makes a total of $50 every two weeks. If the team chooses to play indoors, the price would go up to $25 an hour. Overall, this would result in less resources for necessities like uniforms and tennis balls.

“I don’t think it’s fair at all, they should charge everybody,” Hernandez said. “We have so few monies as it is to pay for this or that, and tennis has such a low budget anyway we have to obviously find the money, but I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

Players often complain about the lack of a tennis court at the school. When the team needs to practice, they must travel to a different location, and at times, they struggle in finding a bus that can take them as a group.

“It’s ridiculous we don’t even have our own court,” junior Brianna Colvin said. “We should be able to have free access to a court. Everybody has free access besides tennis, and I think that’s ridiculous.”

Colvin isn’t the only one disgruntled. Junior Estefani Valdez doesn’t understand how a public park can make the team pay.

“I think if it was private, I would understand, but it’s not,” Valdez said. “It’s public it’s open to everyone, so we shouldn’t have pay five dollars a day to practice it’s just absurd.”

Players don’t just find it unfair to just them, but to the school and their coach.

“I feel like it’s unfair for our teams and other tennis teams to pay to play at a public park since Bryan doesn’t have home courts,” sophomore Sophia Rubenstein said. “We shouldn’t be made to pay for every single match. It’s unfair to the schools, coaches and to tennis players.”

In the summer, Hernandez usually has a free summer clinic. This year will be different. Due to having to pay money during the season, Hernandez announced that this year students will have to pay $25 in the summer in order to play. This most likely will affect the boys’ teams because of the conflict with their conditioning schedule.

“It means that I actually have to be committed, otherwise I’d be wasting my money,” junior Gabriel Robles said.

It may sound like a lot, but according to juniors Brianna Zubia and Hsee Htoo, it isn’t.

“It’s the whole summer for $25, while in other sports you have to pay about $200,” Zubia said.

Other than tennis and its private lessons, the summer clinic is considered very reasonable by many for its set price range.

“It’s not that bad,” Htoo said. “I’ve paid $300 for six lessons, so $25 for the whole summer isn’t bad.”

The team is struggling financially to support the teams needs and necessities, but they hope that one day they can have their own tennis courts, so they don’t have to worry about money when it comes to practicing.