Things weren’t the same for Warren JFK’s Michael Fredricka on his fourth trip to the state tennis tournament.
“I actually felt comfortable when I was there,” said Fredericka who closed his varsity career at last month’s tournament at Hilliard Davidson High outside Columbus.
“When I was a freshman, I walked in and didn’t know anybody there. I had no idea what to do, where to go or the routine before the matches. I didn’t know the whole format of the tournament. Going as a senior, I had been playing against the guys for four years so you walk in and it’s almost like you know everybody. You already have the time that you know you need to get up, eat breakfast and go to the courts. [The routine] got more and more familiar to me.”
Fredericka opened state competition with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over senior Danilo Silva of Carlisle. In the second round, Fredericka fell to defending state champion Chris Diaz, a senior from Columbus Watterson, 6-1, 6-2.
Next year, Fredericka will be competing for Notre Dame, his dream school because it’s his father’s alma mater.
“I first picked up a tennis racket when I was 5 years old and I started taking tennis lessons when I was 7,” said Fredericka who was encouraged by his parents Jim and Lou Ann.
“We started playing doubles along with my sister Gina.”
He said his parents’ first date was to play tennis.
Fredericka said he gets his competitiveness “from my father, for sure, and he plays a lot of tennis still.”
Butler, Richmond and Indiana were among the schools who pursued him.
“But I’ve been a Notre Dame fan all my life, so when I got a contact from them, they were sort of the top of the list,” said Fredericka who will major in business.
“And then hopefully into law school,” he added.
“There were other schools involved in my decision but once they offered, my signature pretty quickly went on the letter of intent,” he said.
Physics, math and English were his favorite subjects at JFK.