Hit The Court With Joseph Beck

James Mims, Reporter

Being a student who attends The Forge, one can only wonder what things even happen on the school grounds: what kind of events happen behind closed doors, what wonders are kept hush-hush.

Just scratching the surface of the unknown are after school tennis games featuring Mr. Oldenburg. The veteran teacher battles students after school on warmer days “just for fun.” Once winter comes to a resolve, he’s sure to be out on the court duking it out around three o’clock against students.

Within these after school battles enters the senior Alex Beck (’17), one of the top tennis players in the state of Virginia. Beck can be found competing against not only Mr. Oldenburg, but also Darius Winstead (’17) after school on the warmer days that are spread so randomly between now and the start of the season.

Although Darius and Oldenburg are worthy adversaries, Beck admits he’s been playing since the seventh grade, so about five years now. And all of that hard work has in fact paid off, as Alex earnestly admits that for 6A schools. “I’m in the top 8 or to top 16 for number one singles,” Beck said, but he isn’t stopping there; Beck notes that he’s “looking to go [to] states this year,” placing him within the top four 6A schools.

The fire burns bright in his eyes as Alex believes he has “a good chance this year,” yet it’s evident the talent didn’t come easy. Alex did meet  recent roadblocks on his journey to success; in fact, he made note of this past summer regarding his injuries. “I injured myself and bruised my ulna and right arm, which is actually the arm that I use to play, so I was unable to play for a few months,” Beck said. This injury ended up putting him out of commission for some time, as he reveals, “I’m actually just now able to start fully surviving again with full strength.”

Just like many other seniors, Beck aspires to go to college and hopefully play at the collegiate level. He said, “I’m looking at two different schools right now Covenant College and Geneva College,” which are both small private Christian schools with Division 3 athletic teams.

Alex ecstatically adds the fact that he’s “pumped” to graduate from high school and possibly play in college, and that he thinks it “would be slightly different [from high school] because everyone there would [have been]  playing tennis for a while, whereas, on the high school team you have people that have never played before and are coming out just to see if they like tennis.” Either way, just like any athlete, this tennis player admits, “[I’ve gotten a] strong group of friends that get out to play tennis because they want to, not because they’re getting part of their tuition paid for.”