Growing up in an athletic household, junior Kelsey Neville never imagined that she would meet the tough expectations that were placed on her. Having a brother who was a star in basketball made Neville rise to the occasion to write her own story here at ACHS. Playing tennis for over 8 years, she finally accomplished her goal of becoming a grueling competitor for other schools within the Northern Lake County Conference, and at state where she recently placed 4th. Neville’s never ending passion for tennis has helped form another world where she can be completely separated from life’s hardships.
“It’s just me and my opponent on the court, no distractions,” Neville said. “I love being able to go out there and just do what I love…it’s also a great way to release some stress.”
For Kelsey, enjoying the game also involved dealing with the pressure of her family. While her grandpa, dad and brother all participated in tennis at some point, but without pursuing the sport competitively, it spurred Neville’s future successes and helped form her determination for the game.
Neville relies greatly on her closest friends to boost her up, especially during tennis season. One of Neville’s close friends, junior Valerie Pokorny has been by her side for a while.
“Kelsey is definitely dedicated because she puts on a lot of time and effort into her high school tennis career,” Pokorny said. “You can really count on her as a friend.”
Having been playing for over 8 years, lots of people have assisted her on her way to triumph. Those long drives, tournaments, matches and balance of AP and honors classes surely hasn’t come easy, but is doable when there are people around her that push her to the best of her ability.
“My support system at home is so encouraging of everything I do in tennis,” Neville said. “If I lose a match or two they’ll bring me right back up and make me feel better about it.”
Although tennis has taken up most of her life, another one of her passions has stood out as well: horseback riding. Ever since a young child, Neville has had a fond impression of horses. From throwing horse themed birthday parties, to riding horses as another hobby, this other side of Neville is unknown to many.
Whether in the riding ring or at the tennis court, Neville continues to share her passion of sports with the school and aims to reach and overcome the goals and expectations she places for herself in the future.