RONDA — The thermometer was pushing 90 and it felt even hotter on the surface of the tennis courts at East Wilkes High School late Tuesday morning.
But there was East Wilkes tennis coach Aaron Simmons, assisted by his father and several former players, working with a dozen young players - all there to work on their game.
The clinics, one for younger players from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and one for older players from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., are “for anybody who wants to work,” Aaron’s father, Phil Simmons, said. “We have kids from the North district; from Elkin. It’s open to anybody who wants to come.
“It’s just a chance for them to get interested in the game.”
Instead of running a one-week camp, Aaron said he prefers running clinics two mornings a week through June and July. It keeps tennis a possibility at East Wilkes for those who may miss a one-week camp for vacation, a church camp, or Bible school.
“This gets kids out here four or five weeks,” Aaron said, who added the most gratifying part of it is seeing the “kids coming back.
“Tennis is a sport they can have a whole lot of fun with. I just want to see them have fun.”
The heat this summer has not been much of a factor, Aaron said. “We take water breaks every six to eight minutes. [The weather] hasn’t really affected it too bad.”
The morning’s last activity was a game of bobsled. Players - six to a side - take turns playing the ball. If they fail to get it back over the net and in bounds, they have to take a seat in the middle of the court. If their side hits a ball out, the line grows. If the other side hits the ball out, one can get up and the player on the other team has to sit down.
The game is played with a ball softer than a regulation ball. If you actually are able to strike one of those seated with one of the balls, your team gets three points.
It’s a silly game, but a fun one. And Aaron, an English teacher, made no apologies for not keeping score well.
After bobsled was over, Aaron called the group together and praised them for not complaining, working hard, and not making excuses.
“I appreciate your dedication in being here,” he said.
The clinics continue on Tuesday and Thursday morning through the end of July. The cost of each clinic is $5.00 and no registration is required. For questions or more information, call Aaron at 336-927-7391.
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or Twitter @elkinareasports.