BELLEVUE — Headbands, mohawks and a over-sized pink bunny named Bernard.
As Bellevue tennis coach Jim Picciuto put it, “Heidelberg is about to get a lot more colorful.”
Those are just some of the things Bellevue senior Tate Schoen will be bringing with him in the fall to Heidelberg as he continues his tennis career.
“The headband will be coming with me,” he said with a laugh.
Tate who is known for wearing a white headband right under his mohawk was the Redmen’s — most entertaining — second singles players this year, winning 18 total matches
At Heidelberg, Tate will be playing both singles and doubles matches, once he officially joins the team.
“If you want to play a sport at Heidelberg they will find a way to get you on the team,” he said. “I’ll play a singles match, then go play with someone for doubles for the same match. Instead of best out of five like in high school, it’s best out of nine.”
But playing tennis at the collegiate level wasn’t something that was on Tate’s radar when he started playing tennis for the Redmen as a freshman.
“I thought it was just going to be a high school hobby that I’m going to do,” he said, “but as the years progressed and I got better and had a lot more fun. So seeing that I could participate at the college level really made me want to go on and play. With them losing a few kids I think I’ll be right there with varsity. I also really liked the coach, but the one I talked to is retired now. So I have to meet with the assistant who is going to be the head coach.”
The other thing Tate liked about Heidelberg was that it’s close to his family.
“It’s so close to home, I’ve had family go there and when I went down and visited I really liked the atmosphere,” he said.
The senior is looking to major in Business Administration specialized in management, but he isn’t quite sure what he wants to do with his degree once he graduates.
“I’ve thought about coming home and working for my grandpa,” he said. “Working my way through the ranks and taking it over from the inside out. Or just going off and trying to work in the business field.”
No matter what Tate decides to do, his parents are both very proud of his academic and athletic accomplishments.
“We’re very proud of him,” said Tate’s mom Renee. “He’s worked very hard. Him and Aaron (Price) would practice all winter long and it paid off. I think he’ll do well.”
The only thing left is to do is find a place to put Bernard — the over-sized pink bunny — during Tate’s matches. The bunny was a gift from teammate Aaron Price’s mom and Tate’s good-luck charm.
Amber Hatten can be reached at 419-483-4190 ext. 1969. Follow us on Twitter @BellevueGazette.