BUCKHANNON — It is important to highlight the youth in Upshur County and the hard work they have put in to excelling in the sports they play. This series of articles will go in-depth with one of B-U’s student athletes, allowing readers to get to know a little more about who athletically represents the community. This week, Bucs Tennis Team, senior, #1-seed singles and doubles player Aden Pitts took time to give the community an inside look at his journey in Upshur County sports.
Question 1: Describe your major highlights and achievements in sports in the past. What standouts out to you about your high school athletic career?
“In my opinion, my biggest highlight from my high school career came during my sophomore year when my doubles partner and I, played in the Mason Texas tournament. Together, played our rival schools #1 and #2-seeded doubles team and beat both of them in extremely tight matches. While this wasn’t a tournament win it was far more personal because my partner and I finally beat our biggest rival and overcame one of our biggest obstacles in the process,” said Pitts.
Question 2: What clubs, teams or other extracurricular activities were you involved in during high school?
“Aside from tennis, I’m also involved in Future Business Leader of America, as well as the former Vice President of Distributive Education Club of America. Back in Texas, I was involved in apologetics,” explained Pitts.
Question 3: Why are you so passionate about playing tennis? What drew you to the sport? What sets tennis apart from other sports in your mind?
“I originally got involved with tennis because I didn’t know which sport I wanted to play, so I picked one that my friends gravitated towards. Soon after my introduction to the game, I fell in love with the sport because it’s such mind over matter. More often than not it’s like a chess match between the two players, with the smarter player usually coming out on top. While this can be said for most sports, there is just something different about tennis. I guess it centers around tennis being a one-on-one sport where there’s no distractions; just you, your opponent and the ball,” stated Pitts.
Question 4: How would your coaches and teammates describe you?
“My coaches and teammates would probably describe me as pretty headstrong, blunt, helpful and at times very set in my ways,” said Pitts.
Question 5: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gained from a coach over your years playing any sport? How would you say, tennis differs from other sports?
“The best advice I ever heard was ‘When you walk inside the fence and step onto the court nothing else matters. Your worries can disappear without a trace and you can freely express yourself and give it your all with nothing weighing you down.’ Tennis is different because of how calming it really is. Even through all the excitement and back and forth going on in any given match, a strange serenity washes over you because you can direct all your focus towards a singular goal,” explained Pitts.
Question 6: How do you manage your athletic responsibilities and other outside recreational and non-recreational activities?
“I manage my responsibility creating a schedule that allows me to get things done. On any given school day, I set aside an hour and a half to do whatever I need to get done to stay ahead. I also have set up time management systems for myself to follow and keep a schedule in order to get everything done in a timely fashion,” stated Pitts.
Question 7: What’s the biggest lesson you have picked up from playing sports?
“Tennis exposed me to, not only the ideas of sportsmanship and respect, but also how not to be pushed around and stick up for myself. I have carried these lessons from the court into my personal life and I believe they has helped me in numerous situations,” said Pitts.
Question 8: How long have you been involved in tennis? How would you describe yourself as a player? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
“I’ve started playing tennis in 7th grade, so I am about 5 years in now. As a player I tend to be pretty resourceful and adaptable to any situation. I try to outsmart my opponents more than out play them. I would say my biggest strength is definitely my court vision. I can see where they are and where they aren’t; and try to predict what is most likely to happen. My biggest weakness is definitely my inability to close. I have a bad habit of losing focus and have to remind myself that that part matters more than anything else,” explained Pitts.
Question 9: How has being involved in sports positively impacted your life?
“Tennis has allowed me to meet people who have become mentors that were influential in shaping me into the person and player I currently am. The sport of tennis has also taught me a few key life lessons through the experiences it has allowed for me,” stated Pitts.
Question 10: What has representing Buckhannon-Upshur as a student-athlete meant to you? What’s your best memory?
“Representing the Buckhannon-Upshur community has been a pleasure. It is hard to put into words how much it means to me to be able to experience everything the tennis program here has to offer. My time representing Buckhannon-Upshur High School has given me an entirely different outlook on life. As far as my best memory over my time playing tennis for B-UHS has to be my first doubles match against Bridgeport back in my junior year. Both sides were playing at an amazingly high-level and were having a great time laughing and cracking jokes all while playing our very bests. It was a great time and a great match despite the fact that we took loss in the final tie breaker,” explained Pitts.
Question 11: What’s one thing you want to be remembered for as you leave high school? What is the legacy you wish to leave?
“Honestly, I want to be remembered as a regional champion for this school. I entered this season striving to achieve that goal. I want to leave a legacy of improvement for every player who joins the team and they want to be the very best they can be,” said Pitts.
Question 12: Finally, are there any short-term goals you’d like to accomplish in the next few months to a couple of years? What about in the future 10 years or more down the road, where do you think you will end up?
“For tennis, in the short-term I want to win our region and place in state this year. After that I want to improve my skills at Wesleyan next year. The Bobcats tennis program provided me with an amazing opportunity to surround myself with a great group of guys and an outstanding, accomplished coaching staff. I am so honored to have the opportunity to play on the collegiate level. At Wesleyan, I will also be majoring in criminal justice with a minor in prelaw; with the hope of going to law school when I graduate WVWC. In a decade, I hope to be working for a law firm and climbing the ladder until I get to the point I can leave the firm and start my own firm. That is the dream to be able to do what I want to do and help those I want to help,” stated Pitts.