Right about now, most 15-year-olds are counting down the hours until school ends and summer begins. For tennis player Joel Metzger of San Andreas, he no longer has to worry about high school.
Metzger, who won the men’s B singles final at the USTA “Rock & Rally” Future Stars 2000 Tennis Tournament over the weekend, graduated from high school this May after taking the California High School Proficiency Exam. The exam is an equivalent of a high school diploma.
Before graduating, Metzger had started taking classes at Columbia Junior College in the fall of 2001. In order for him to take classes at college he had to get permission from the principal.
Besides being a top student, Metzger has played tennis for the past nine years and had several influences growing up.
“She gave me a lot of lessons in my early beginnings,” Metzger said of Joan Walsen. “Jim Triolo has been a great coach to me.”
“I like the competitiveness of it, the fairness and the winning,” he said of tennis.
Metzger plays most of his tennis in competitions and recreational games since Columbia has no tennis team.
“I play with a group of 40- to 50-year-olds,” he said.
He also played in tournaments such as the one at the Gold Hunter Tennis Club where he won for the second straight year and the United States Tennis sectional play of the junior league in Sacramento last year.
“I think he’s a great kid,” said Lance Turner, who was head of the Future Stars 2000 Competition.
Once Metzger gets his AA degree in general education at Columbia, he hopes to join the tennis team at the University of California, Berkeley. However, professional tennis is not in Metzger’s future plans. He hopes to be an orthopedic surgeon. He got the idea to go into the practice when he broke three bones and was in the doctor’s office.
Metzger, though, has no plans of giving up recreational tennis.
“I plan to be competitive for the rest of my life,” he said. “I wanted to be an exceptional club and tennis player.”
He also wants to get the word out about tennis.
“In my spare time I will help the game succeed and bring a new interest into the game,” he said. “I love the game of tennis.”
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