Rocklin Thunder tennis camp nets successBy: Staff Report
The two-week Rocklin High School Thunder Summer Tennis Camp held June 8-12 and June 15-19 for boys and girls grades 1-9 was a huge success.
Around 119 tennis hopefuls from the Rocklin, Lincoln and surrounding communities participated during the first week of the camp. The number dropped to 98 when the extreme heat of summer arrived.
There were 65 Thunder, and former Thunder, tennis players who volunteered to help teach and almost 60 percent of them were former campers. That translated into one instructor for every two campers this year.
Rocklin High tennis coach and geography teacher Dale Eckenburg led the camp with assistance from wife, Ashley, daughter Sydney and son Sam.
“Ashley is the backbone of the family and a great support of my endeavors,” said Dale Eckenburg, who has been coaching and teaching at Rocklin for 17 years.
His favorite saying is “To know someone, you must know their history” and Eckenburg’s teaching methods reflect that. To help his team bond, he often takes them out for archery, surfing, camping, boating and river rafting.
The result is a very competitive and highly-spirited team that has fun playing tennis.
One hour before the camp each day, Eckenberg would meet with his volunteers and team leaders. The hour would include an informative and engaging session of what the campers would need to learn each day. The campers were placed in groups according to age and each volunteer knew what instructions to give each group.
Some of the volunteers dressed in costume and encouraged the campers to do the same. That fostered fun and helped reduce any intimidation the sport might have held for some of the younger boys and girls.
“I personally salute Dale Eckenburg in his personal commitment to The Rocklin community,” Lincoln and Rocklin Tennis Association (LARTA) President Peter Schor said.
Schor also complimented tennis head coaches Matt Holm and Jeanie Duncan. Holm coaches at Whitney High and Duncan heads up the program at Lincoln High.
Schor said tennis is a game for life. He said the 335, 55-and-older, members of the Lincoln Hills Tennis Group can attest to that.