By Rob Kiser
Piqua High School senior Sean Hatke remembers playing tennis with his family as a youngster.
“I always won,” the son of Tim and Shonda Hatke said.
On Tuesday, in the PHS commons, made it official that he will be playing for Heidelberg University next year.
“For sure,” Hatke said with a smile about wanting to play tennis in college. “This is (nice to make it official). I started playing late in my freshman year.”
And Hatke has made steady progress during his four years at Piqua and Piqua tennis coach Dave Williams expects that to continue at the college level.
“Definitely, he has a lot of untapped potentional,” Williams said. “I wasn’t the coach when he was a freshman. But, you could see he was going to be a good player. He has all the ingredients. He is big, he is quick and he is athletic.”
He moved up to first singles as a junior and went 7-7.
He took it to another level this past season, going 9-4 and advancing to the third-fourth place match at the GWOC Silver Flight tournament before it was rained out. He also picked up a win in the D-I sectional tournament, before retiring in his second match due to injury.
“You can see the improvement Sean (Hatke) has made,” Williams said. “He is a very smart player, figuring out different way to attack his opponent, depending on what they are doing.”
Hatke does feel like his best tennis is in front of him.
“When you are only playing in the spring, with different sports, that’s the only time you get to play,” Hatke said. “This season does give me confidence. I feel like I can play right away at Heidelberg.”
“There is no question he has a lot of untapped potential,” Williams said. “If he starts working with someone on a regular basis, there is no question he has the potential to make a lot of improvement.”
Hatke was happy to make things official.
“It is (good to have the decision made),” Hatke said. “I just loved everything about Heidelberg. The school, the tennis program.”
Just like beating his family when he was younger.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.