Seymour tennis player commits to Franklin College


When Grace Otte first started playing tennis, she never thought she would go on to play at the collegiate level.

Last spring, those notions started to change, and it became a goal to continue her career on the courts.

With a little push from a relative, Otte narrowed down her choice to one school.

On Wednesday, the Seymour High School senior committed to joining Franklin College’s program.

“I knew I wanted to play college tennis in the middle of my junior year,” Otte said. “I started playing varsity, and my cousin, Karen Dringenburg, said they were looking for people to play on the team. She talked and I talked to the coach, and we went from there.”

Franklin is an NCAA Division III school and plays in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Last fall, the Grizzlies went 12-3. They advanced to the championship match of the HCAC Tournament, falling to Hanover 4-1.

Franklin is coached by Rusty Hughes.

“I really liked the coaching staff,” Otte said. “They’re really laid back. Their rule is that school comes first, and that has always been a really big thing in my family.”

Otte, who started playing tennis five years ago, has grown a lot over the past couple of years. She moved into the varsity lineup her junior year at No. 2 doubles and is playing No. 1 singles this spring for SHS.

She said she feels that Franklin is the right fit for her.

“It’s a goal that I’ve accomplished, and I’m so glad I did it,” Otte said. “Going into high school, I thought it would be volleyball because that’s what I’ve played my whole life, but turning around and having it be tennis, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m looking forward to improving my game and meeting new people.”

The senior said she plans on studying accounting and finance.

“I like that (the school) is small,” Otte said. “I didn’t want to go to a really big school. I really liked the atmosphere, and it’s close to home.”

Otte credited current Seymour coach Jan Fenton, former coach Jennifer Miller, boys coach Brad Emerson and sophomore player Isaac Hardin for her successes on the court.

Otte said while practices start Aug. 17, she will be preparing all summer long.

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