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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Through courts and rackets, Ellie Mackenzie has found friendship

Alysse Calabio
A photo of Ellie Mackenzie, who has grown to love tennis.

Junior Ellie Mackenzie can’t quite remember when she started or how she came to love it—but if there is one thing she does know, it is that, in her memory, she always has and she always will love tennis.

Nothing ever quite stuck with Ellie, not fencing nor ballet, until she found tennis, and her love for it came along with it.

“[Tennis] was a really fun way to get moving around,” Ellie said. “I’d go out [and play] with some friends and some family. I don’t really remember [how I first started, though,] because I was really young. But, I went through a lot of sports before I found one I liked. I went from fencing to ballet and all these different things.”

Although Ellie has cycled through many various activities, it has been tennis that has stuck with her the most. And while tennis is an engaging way for her to move around and hang out with other people, it isn’t merely the physical aspect of tennis that has Ellie entranced with the sport.

A large part of tennis’ appeal to Ellie is the mental component; tennis has become an outlet for Ellie to ease her mind of any worries or stresses she may have from her everyday life. When she is playing tennis, it is only her and the game on her mind.

“I like it because I can really focus on something,” Ellie said. “[It’s a nice way to] take my mind off of stuff. I find that really fun, moving around and you have control. I really like winning, too.”

These matches have become something that Ellie can lose herself in; however, they have also become a way for her to meet a plethora of new people. Whether it be on the FHC Junior Varsity (JV) tennis team or in the training camps she goes to over the summer, tennis acts as a gateway for her to make new friends—even from schools and places she hadn’t heard of before.

[It’s a nice way to] take my mind off of stuff.

— Ellie Mackenzie

“Sometimes, I go to tennis training camps in the summer, “ Ellie said, “but I play for the school. [The camps I went to are] little programs that can be a day-long or you can go for a week. You do the daytime ones, too. I’ve met some people from other schools and schools I’ve never heard of, like Culver; it’s a military school, and I didn’t know that was a thing until then.”

Even though Ellie looks back fondly on her experience at the tennis training camps she’s gone to, it is on the FHC JV tennis team that some of her most cherished memories have been made: the memories of playing with her friends.

To Ellie, those moments of playing alongside her friends have become her favorite ones; they are memories that she hopes to continue to make—especially with the new addition of her cousin playing alongside her on the JV tennis team, too.

“When I got to play with [junior] Dia [Sriram is my favorite memory,]” Ellie said, “ because we weren’t ever really matched up and we never really got to be, but they needed extra people to play. We were messing around the whole time. It was really fun. She wants to try out for varsity. She wants me to try out [for it, too. I don’t think I will, partly] because my of cousin. She’s a freshman, so she’s going to do JV this year. I want to do it with her.”

Despite Ellie having been on the FHC tennis team for all three years she has attended, she has chosen to stay on the JV team rather than move up to varsity. Even so, it is not without rhyme or reason; it was one done purposefully by Ellie.

For Ellie, tennis is a sport where she does not have to be confined by a string of expectations. It is a sport where she can have fun and play with her friends, and under the JV team, Ellie has found herself in the perfect conditions—the only chance for exception being her senior year.

“I usually do the JV [tennis team,]” Ellie said. “I don’t try out for varsity because JV is more relaxed, and it’s not so strict. It’s not like you have to win; JV is more like if you don’t win, it’s fine. But, if I wanted to continue doing tennis during my senior year, I’d have to try out for varsity. [So,] I’ll play [on varsity]—just for the one year.”

Tennis has become an integral part of Ellie’s life. Everything from the friends she has made to the coaches that have guided her, they have become a part of something she truly enjoys—and having them there to support her makes the game all the better.

“Honestly, I just really like [playing tennis,]” Ellie said. “I really like the coach; she’s super sweet and relaxed.”

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About the Contributor
Alysse Calabio
Alysse Calabio, Staff Writer
Alysse Calabio is going on to her second and final year on The Central Trend. If there's anything she loves more than the world, it would be experiencing new adventures and hobbies; everything from taekwondo to horseback riding to, evidently, writing has caught her attention at some point. Whether or not she was able to stick with it is up for debate but to say she didn't try would be a lie. In her free time you'll find her attempting to learn how to cook, something she has failed miserably in the past, and crocheting her heart out. This year will surely be a bittersweet one, but she's excited to be going through it. Artist she is currently obsessing over: Laufey Her favorite movie: Everything, Everywhere, All at Once Most interesting food she's ever tried: Chicken feet  

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