Ben Spores has developed into one of the Arlington boys tennis team’s most indispensable players. This season the senior has performed well in two roles — as the Eagles’ No. 2 singles player and as part of their top doubles team with junior Ben Nichols.
“(Spores) has a lot of athletic talent,” Arlington coach Ben Mendro said. “He’s seen huge improvement in his serving, court coverage and net game. He’s respectful, kind, has a good sense of humor and has stepped up to become a leader. I love to coach him.”
Spores is also a middle infielder on the Eagles’ baseball team.
The Herald recently talked with Spores about tennis, baseball, his other interests and more.
How did you get started playing tennis?
My older sister (Emily) played tennis at Arlington High School, and she got me out to play with her. At first I wasn’t taking it that seriously, I was just trying to hit the ball hard. When I got to high school, I started taking it more seriously. I was able to pick up some things fast, and I got better and better, and it became more fun to play.
How would you describe your style of play?
I like to play the net a lot. That’s my strong suit. I have a decently big wingspan, so I can get to balls other guys can’t. I like to force (the action) at the net and place balls where (my opponent) can’t get them. I can hit some nice corner shots and put balls away when I need to.
Are you involved in any other school clubs or activities?
I’m in the school band — I’m a percussionist, and I play all the drums under the sun. I started (drumming) in the fifth grade. I come from a musical family — both my sisters played an instrument. I enjoy music because it allows me to be creative. I like classical the best. I’m not too much into the pep stuff, although it is fun to play. I enjoy classical because it’s more complex, and for me it’s more fun to play.
What do you do in your free time?
If I have time and money, I like to go backpacking. Usually I try to stay close to home. Recently I went up into the North Cascades, and I loved that. Hopefully I can go up there again soon.
What are your post-graduation plans?
I’ll probably go to a community college — Everett or Skagit Valley, maybe — to get my associates’ degree, then transfer to a university. I’d like to play baseball in college, so that’s what I’m working toward right now. I’m trying to communicate with coaches and get my name out there.
What are you interested in studying in college?
I’ve got a lot of (ideas) in my mind right now, but I haven’t weeded them out yet. I could get a business degree, I could do a lot of things with that, or I could become a teacher, or go into the medical field.
How would you describe your personality?
I’m hard-working, easy to talk to, easy-going. I think I’m a cool person to be around — that’s what people tell me, at least.