Coach Fehn is an asset for Carmel Catholic High School
Mundelein, 3/23/01 --Pioneer Press Columnist, Millie Maughton.
Updated: March 17, 2012 8:10AM
To be good at something, you have to practice and have the right tools. To want to share that talent with others, you have to have a passion. Meet Nancy Fehn. She has been involved with junior tennis for 45 years.
When she lived in Toledo, Ohio, Fehn’s three kids played at a young age and were later ranked in the Midwest across a five-state district. One son played at a Division I school, and Fehn herself coached at a local high school. Fast forward to 1998 when she became a Mundelein resident. With a friend’s encouragement, she became the frosh-soph coach at Carmel Catholic High School eventually becoming the head coach.
Carmel tennis players play year-round, and with that commitment, individual players have made it downstate despite being in a tough section that includes schools like Lake Forest, Highland Park and Deerfield. Fehn is proud that they are getting closer to being able to “compete with best of them.” She has reason to be proud of the girls’ team that played in the fall and was able to crack the top ten in the state.
The Carmel girls finished first in the Conference this year and turned out last year’s state champion (with a record of 37-0), Jasmine Minor, now at Georgia Tech on scholarship. The boys will play this spring, and Fehn is looking to a memorable season with them as well.
A key, Fehn believes, to developing strong players at the high school level is getting them interested and playing at an early age. She especially finds it rewarding to teach new players their first time on the court.
Fehn is hoping to reach out to younger kids to join her at Carmel’s tennis camp this summer. The camp started back in 2001 and has been growing ever since. This year they will have two three-week sessions, one beginning June 11th and the second July 9th, each for three weeks.
Her tennis camp is popular, not only because it is good, but also because of the coaching staff she finds. The camp coaches play in college, and often go on to coach higher level players around the country. She admits to hunting around for them, and when she’s successful, she recruits them.
For example veteran professional Chris Kannenberg has taught at private clubs in Libertyville and Lincolnshire. He will be joining Fehn’s staff this summer. At their height, Carmel’s tennis camp had about 100 kids. But things have become difficult with the economy, and kids looking to join other sports, such as lacrosse or baseball.
But Fehn’s camp is affordable, and she is proud of the ratio she can provide of about one pro per six students. She has had several repeat campers, players that have been with her for a couple of years and are now in 8th grade.
The Carmel tennis camp is open to kids from all areas and of all levels, with a section for those 10 and younger up though eighth grade. For more information, take a look at Carmel’s website: www.carmelhs.org under Athletics for some people passionate about tennis.
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