The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Spotlight: Tommy Pitcher

Tommy Pitcher. Photograph by Saw Min Maw

The Grinnell men’s tennis team takes pride in recruiting a strong incoming class each year. Tommy Pitcher ’17, from Ames, Iowa and a doubles champion in high school,  is one of the highlights of this year’s recruiting class. With the men’s tennis season beginning this weekend, the S&B’s Ruth Wu ’17 had a chance to sit down with him for a conversation.


Tommy Pitcher. Photograph by Saw Min Maw
Tommy Pitcher. Photograph by Saw Min Maw

What’s your favorite thing about being on the team?

I automatically have a group of really close friends, and they’re all really great guys. And I know they will always have my best interests in mind. It’s been really helpful in the transition to coming to college.


What’s your favorite thing about Grinnell?

Meeting so many different people with different backgrounds, especially since I’m from a small town in Iowa where there’s a lot of similar beliefs and ideals. There are very interesting dialogues here.


The tennis team has traditionally been strong, winning 10 consecutive Midwest Conference Championships in a row. What expectations does the team have this year?

Obviously our goal is to win another conference championship and go to nationals again. Beyond that, winning individual conference titles, too, is always a goal.


When did you start playing tennis?

I started playing tennis when I was 10 years old, in fifth grade.


What is the most memorable game in your career?

During sophomore year, for the team state title, we played six singles matches and three doubles matches. We played the singles matches first, and were down 2-4. I was playing the number one doubles, and we managed to tie 4 all. I was the last match on and I was serving for match point. I hit an ace and we won our school’s first state championship.


Favorite tennis team tradition?

Every weekend, we’d sing [Old Crow Medicine Show’s] “Wagon Wheel” in a circle together with our shirts off. I remember my first “Wagon Wheel,” during the first weekend after classes started. I wasn’t comfortable with the team yet, but seeing the team coming together to sing was good. I joined in and mumbled the words ‘cause I didn’t know the words.


What’s your favorite course at Grinnell and why?

Given that it’s the second week of semester, I haven’t taken that many courses yet. But American Studies with Kesho Scott has been the most interesting class I’ve taken at Grinnell. She’s very engaging, and it’s a chance to talk about my own culture, which is almost introspective.


You’re in your second semester, and soon you’ll be a second-year. Do you have any advice for the incoming first years?

Study hard, manage your time well and don’t drink too much chocolate milk at the dining hall.


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