After four years as a Miner, Brooklyn Thompson is pushing for a state tennis repeat
On the far west tennis court at the Park City Municipal Athletic and Recreation Center Thursday afternoon, emotions were high as Brooklyn Thompson began taking her warm-up swings.
As the lone senior on the Park City girls tennis team, Thompson was just about to play in her final home match of her high school career. And she couldn’t help but be overcome by emotion.
“The match today, I definitely felt extra stressed because I knew it was my last match at home and it meant a lot,” said Thompson, who won 6-2, 6-0 over Maple Mountain’s Sophie Hill. “At the end of it, it was definitely kind of sad because I know I’m done here and probably won’t ever play here again. … But it was also happy because I won and I got to think about the good memories I have playing here on this court the past two years.”
Thompson has been a staple of the Miners varsity tennis team for the past four years., being a member of the varsity time since she was eligible to play for Park City. Her journey began as a doubles player during her freshman and sophomore seasons, before securing the No. 3 singles spot last year behind formidable senior twin duo Gabby and Livi Rockwood.
This year, Thompson had her eyes set on the moving up the singles pecking order, but the emergence of freshmen Elle Martin and Olivia Tarmina had her right back to where she was last season; a hard thing to accept to begin the year.
“I totally struggled in the beginning of the season because I was playing in a spot that I was hoping to move out of,” Thompson said. “It was hard to deal with that but once we started winning and I was able to help out the team, it became a lot easier and I started to do better in my matches. We have a great team and now being that leader, I have to have that positive attitude and I think that’s helped a lot.”
But for Thompson, becoming the leader she spoke about wasn’t an easy journey. A non-bossy person by nature according to her, it was difficult for her to stand up talk to her teammates, tell them what they need to be doing, especially the freshmen who were playing ahead of her.
Eventually she found her voice, relaying the lessons she learned from the Rockwood twins the previous year and passing them down to her younger teammates. She helped lay down the foundation of what it means to be a Miner.
“It’s hard because you don’t want to seem mean or rude and tell the girls to do this or do that because that’s not who I am,” Thompson said. “Over the course of the season I‘ve definitely found my voice more and have become more confident in talking to them about stuff. … Hopefully they think I’ve done a good job of it also.”
With her final regular season home match behind her, Thompson is now focused on the Region 8 tournament in two weeks and the state tournament following that. She’s hoping to cap her high school career off in the same manner that it began, as a state champion.
“This is the fun part of the season by far because all the matches mean more,” Thompson said. “I won my freshman season and this year, I think we have a good chance to do it again. I’m just excited to get out there and play some more in my final few matches with Park City.”
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The Miners kicked off their summer offseason program to gear up for the new challenge that awaits them in Class 5A.