Brownstown Central senior continues family tradition on the tennis courts


For The Tribune

Gunnar Zickler says the reason he chose to play tennis at an early age was to follow in his family’s footsteps.

“I always went to the courts with my dad (Craig) and my older brother (Sy). My dad was a good tennis player back in high school,” Gunnar said. “They introduced me (to tennis) and I followed through since then. I’ve played since seventh grade.”

Gunnar said he played both singles and doubles his freshman year at Brownstown Central, but has stuck to doubles sophomore through senior year.

He played second doubles his sophomore year and has been at first doubles the past two years.

“(Jackson) Lahrman has been my partner since my sophomore year," Zickler said. "We have good chemistry. You’ve just got to trust in your partner and just make sure that they are on the same page as you. You always have to be talking and it’s just good to have that chemistry so you can really click.”

Zickler, who is right-handed, plays the backhand side of the court.

“I think (Lahrman) has a better forehand than me, and I think I have a better backhand so I play on the left-hand side," Zickler said. "I always work on my backhand in practice.

“I also really enjoy the net. There is nothing like hitting a big overhead. The strongest part of my game is probably the net game. I’d say the volleys I hit are just always solid.”

Zickler plays aggressively from the opening point of a match.

“You just attack and try to get on top of them, and keep the momentum going toward you," Zickler said. "Winning the first set is very important. I think every time that I lose the first set it is really, really tough to come back because the momentum is just not on your side and you just aren’t confident any more. You’ve just got to win the points and keep your head in the game.”

Zickler enjoys the home matches.

“Our courts are great, and our fans come out every single night and it’s really humbling just to be out there with the team," Zickler said. "My favorite away courts are probably Silver Creek. Their courts are brand new and it’s just a good atmosphere to be around. The Seymour courts are nice courts. I’m excited they flattened everything. I live in Seymour so I that’s where we play.”

In the winters, Zickler plays indoors.

“I play tennis at Tipton Lakes in Columbus all through the winter," Zickler said. "I played in a few tournaments up there. Up there is like nothing else because the players are all so good, and the coaches are really good. Hitting the shots and keeping the shots in, it’s good to practice that. You need that consistency."

This season, Zickler’s role has changed on the team.

“I just want to be a leader for this team," Zickler said. "Someone has got to step up and I want that to be me. I want a sectional win. That’s pretty much all you can say."

He has enjoyed going to school at BCHS.

“Being at Brownstown is like nothing else," Zickler said. "I’m so locked to Brownstown. I just know so many people and it’s just nice to have everyone that likes you. We have very good teachers. I’ll remember all the friends, all the memories I’ve made playing tennis and just being a student at Brownstown. I’ve had three different coaches in tennis and I think we’ve got a keeper here in Mitchell Taylor. He’s a good coach.”

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