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Top high school tennis player passes up Division I school to improve game

Apache freshman tennis player Nathan Robinson has a story and a high school career that is abnormal to most.

Born and raised in Abilene, Nathan Robinson grew up playing all kinds of sports such as basketball, soccer, baseball, golf and tennis.

At the age of six, Nathan started playing tennis. It wasn’t until his freshman year in high school at Abilene Cooper that he decided tennis was what he wanted to focus on.

“I made the decision to play tennis. It is what I wanted to pursue,” Robinson said.

After playing three years at Abilene Cooper, Robinson made the tough decision to leave school before his senior year and do home schooling. Robinson moved to Dallas to practice and study with his tennis coach, Theron Cole, who played tennis at TJC.

“My parents have always stuck beside me when I chose to move away and home school,” Robinson said.

While being home schooled and practicing with his tennis coach, he traveled around the state and nation playing in the most competitive amateur tournaments in the country.

“One of my biggest wins was over a player who was number one in the state and recently signed with the University of Texas,” Robinson said.

Robinson also finished fourth at The Texas Grand Slam, arguably the biggest tournament in the state.

With all of his success while traveling and home schooling Nathan was offered scholarships to D-I schools such as, The University of Utah and East Carolina University. He was also offered a scholarship to Abilene Christian College, a D-II school near his home town.

Passing up scholarships to four-year schools was not a problem for Robinson he knew what was best for him and what he needed to do to improve his game to the next level.

“I chose TJC because I wanted to have a couple of years to improve so I could go to a Division I college ranked higher in the nation”, said Robinson.

A player of Robinson’s caliber usually is not looking for the Junior College experience, high school standouts that get offered D-I scholarships usually take them.

“Nathan was being recruited (by TJC), but lightly as we don’t often get players with his ranking,” Tennis Coach John Peterson said. “I was excited to get a Texas guy with that ranking and I knew his character to also be high, like most freshmen, he is going through the adjustment phase where he has to get used to being challenged every day, but he has adjusted well.”

Nathan has adjusted very well to tennis on the college level. He has been a starter since the day he arrived on campus.

After taking a year off from team competition during his home schooling, Robinson got to TJC and fit right in.

“I really enjoy the team atmosphere,” Robinson said. “Everyone on the team is rooting for you when you’re playing and when you’re not playing you’re rooting for them.”

Peterson has high hopes for his team and Nathan during the spring and next season.

“He is a good team guy and he would be counted on to be our leader next year.”

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