Kodiak High tennis team brings game to Homer

Homer High School might not have a tennis team, but they do have tennis courts and that’s exactly what the 19-member Kodiak High School Bears tennis team was looking for when it paid a visit to the area Aug. 30-31.
“This is like the fourth or fifth time they’ve come here,” Will Files of the Homer Tennis Association said of the Bears’ annual visit to Homer. “There’s no tennis team at Homer High, so they played with some of us adults. That gave them a little challenge to see a different pace on the ball.”
It also gave the Bears an opportunity for some instruction by Jim Gorman of Anchor Point, a retired tennis coach and former reading specialist from Chugiak High School.
“He actually spent two to three hours taking one to two players at a time and going over skills and drills to improve their play,” said Files.
The Bears team consists of students in grades nine through 12. Their time in Homer wasn’t all work and no play, thanks to the HTA.
“We provided a little barbecue for them at Karen Hornaday Park (on Aug. 30) and then went to Starvin’ Marvin’s on their way out of here Sunday evening,” said Files of a send-off before the Bears boarded the M/V Bartlett for the return trip Kodiak.
Homer Tennis Association has about 15-20 dues-paying members that are divided into two groups: a mixed doubles group that meets three times a week and a women’s group that meets twice a week, playing on Homer High’s four courts.
“This year we replaced, with the help of the Kenai Peninsula Borough and about $600 of our own money, the backboards. They were falling apart after 30 years so the borough bought the plywood and we installed and painted it, and we’re filling in the cracks up there (on the courts),” said Files.
The association’s vision for the future is to see tennis included at either the elementary or middle school level so it will feed into Homer High’s sports program.
“We’re looking for some key people to lead that effort,” said Files.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.