Mitch Granger has a schedule that would intimidate even the most seasoned of workaholics.
In addition to challenging academic courses as a senior at , the local tennis standout spends several days a week after school fine-tuning his game on the courts at the Racquet Club of Lake Bluff. When the school week ends, Granger spends more than 30 weekends a year traveling around the region to compete in some of the biggest junior tournaments in the Midwest.
The hard work has been paying off though. In addition to being ranked among the top 20 high school tennis players in Illinois, Granger has recently signed a letter of intent to compete on the Men’s tennis team at Western Illinois University.
“I’m really looking forward to putting on the uniform for them this fall,” said
Granger. “They have three seniors graduating this year, which means I’ll be guaranteed a spot in the starting lineup right away. Most importantly, I have a great relationship with the coach [Chris Kane] and feel like I’ll be able to improve a lot under his guidance.”
Granger said he has been around tennis for as long as he can remember. His dad, who played college tennis at Washington State University, first introduced Granger to the sport, and the two embarked on a coaching relationship that continues to this day.
“I’ve been blessed to have my dad be a part of my life in this way,” said Granger. “We still have an on-court rivalry to this day, and I’ll ask him every morning if he wants to play a match.”
Granger began to compete in USTA tournaments starting in the 10-and-under division and consistently posted solid results, but when Granger moved with his dad to Florida and spent a year in the town of Weston, his game began to take off.
“It’s not even that the level of play in Florida is higher than in Illinois, but there’s more of a tennis culture out there,” Granger said. “Everybody plays tennis in Florida, and high school matches are actually a big deal there. When you’re around that environment, it motivates you and makes you want to be a better player.”
While enrolled as a student in Cypress Bay in Weston, Granger was part of the high
school tennis team which came in second place in state competition.
He has since moved back to Grayslake and said that will be part of the lineup on the
Grayslake Central High tennis team this spring.
“I really believe that this year will be my best year on the team,” said Granger. “I’m a much better player from when I last played for Grayslake as a sophomore, and we have a really strong team this year overall.”
Granger said that in addition to the spring tennis season, he is also getting a ready for a series of USTA sectional tournaments over the next two months.
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