Fergus’ Schneeberger ‘returning’ to statePublished 10:53am Friday, May 31, 2013
On Friday, senior Jesse Schneeberger will put on a cap and gown, walk on stage and receive a diploma from Fergus Falls. He plans to attend Concordia College in Moorhead this fall, working towards a degree in elementary education.
But while other seniors will be preparing for one last summer before their next life adventure, Schneeberger will be lacing up his shoes, tightening his racket and getting prepared to lead the Otter boys tennis team to the Class A state tournament.
The Fergus No. 1 singles player saw his team breeze through the competition in the Section 6A tournament, claiming back-to-back section titles, but he capped it off with a individual medal of his own, winning the section’s individual tournament and advancing to state.
“It geels fantastic and it will be a honor to represent the Fergus Falls Otters,” Schneeberger said. “Plus, it’s the perfect way to end my high school tennis career.”
Schneeberger’s road to state was a familar one as he received a first round bye and swept through his opponents to reach the section final, where he would again face a teammate in David Schneck.
Last season, Schneeberger faced off against fellow Otter Jake Anderson in the final. Anderson would beat Schneeberger in two sets and claim the section title, but this season, Schneeberger would come out on the winning end of a finals dual as he defeated Schneck 6-4, 6-4.
“He knows my game and I know his, so it was a battle. But we had fun playing it,” Schneeberger said of his finals match.
After coming into last year’s state tournament as an unknown, the target has been painted on Schneeberger’s back as he looks to improve on his finish as the consolation champion. With a new comfort level, Schneeberger hopes to improve on last year’s performance at the Reed Sweatt Center in Minneapolis.
Otter Head Coach Norm Newell has noticed the Schneeberger’s improvement on the court.
“His experience in the state tournament last year really helped him grow to be more mentally tough and patient this year,” Newell said. “Like many ascending players with good shot making, they need to have high level experience to know what weapons they have and when to use them in a match.”
But first, Schneeberger will turn his focus to Virginia, Minnesota as the Otters will take on the Blue Devils in the opening round of the team tournament Tuesday.
“My goal for our team is to win our first match and place,” Schneeberger added.
“He is really urging his team on to win a first round match and get into the team final four. He is determined to do his part to try make that happen and that’s his focus. He has the right mind-set that individual play is just icing on the cake and the random draw really determines a lot of your potential success,” Coach Newell added.
So what does Schneeberger want to do in his final matches as an Otter?
“To do my best and represent the Otters well.”