Monday, January 17, 2022

Argyle tennis standout volleying for shot at state

Growing up in Minnesota, Drew Van Wyk’s first love was basketball.

The Argyle High School senior and his family moved to southern Denton County just before the start of his freshman year of high school, and that was when he made a switch.

“When I lived in Minnesota, my basketball coach was telling me about how his son was in tennis and he highly recommended for me to try it,” Van Wyk said. “So the beginning of my freshman year I decided to try tennis. This was the first sport that I really wanted to go get better at, which was a change for me because in previous sports I was not as motivated.”

Tennis has certainly motivated Van Wyk, who as a junior reached the state tournament last year in boys doubles with his former partner, Wade Paquin.

For Van Wyk, whose other interests range from video games to cars to church to spending time with his family, it is the personal accountability in the sport of tennis that most appeals to him.

“Whatever you want to put into it, you will get out of it,” Van Wyk said. “Tennis is such an individual sport that if you want to be good, you can if you work towards it.”

Van Wyk and Paquin advanced to the state quarterfinals in 2020-21 before being defeated by Ian Williams and Jack Callen Watlington of Center High School 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

The Argyle senior, who is also a member of the National Honor Society and school choir, said qualifying for state was special for him last season.

“It was a great experience,” Van Wyk said. “I enjoyed the process, as it was one of my goals that I wanted to get done before I left high school. I also enjoyed having my partner Wade get to state before he graduated.”

Argyle tennis coach Adam Mihok said that Van Wyk brings strong leadership and an assortment of skills to the Argyle tennis program and said he has a couple of objectives for him this season.

“My goals for Drew this year are to see him win a district title, then a regional title and get farther than he did last year in the state tournament,” Mihok said. “Of course, everybody says they want to win a state championship and ultimately [I] just [want] to see him continue to progress and develop as a player.”

But that’s not all.

“I also want to help find a good fit for him to play at the next level in college or at a university that’s gonna be a great academic and athletic fit for him,” Mihok said. “He’ll become just as spectacular an asset for the university, so I’m working with him and trying to communicate with college coaches and get them his information to know his strengths and weaknesses.”

Mihok said it is not certain at this point, however, whether Van Wyk will play doubles again or singles.

“Right now, we don’t know what Drew is going to play,” Mihok said. “We’re gonna find a specific path that’s going to best suit him to be able to make it to the state tournament. He could end up playing singles— he could end up playing doubles.

“We’re gonna look at the landscape and see what is the best option for him as it relates to some of the stronger teams in our region and whether they are playing the singles and doubles draws, and then we’re gonna try to craft a solution for him.”

Mihok said he has seen some good signs early on in doubles.

“Right now we have him playing with Austin Lewis and they just won the Mansfield tournament which is a 6A tournament,” Mihok said. “So yeah, that looks pretty promising there and they played pretty well out there on the court.”

Van Wyk said he is optimistic as well about what he and the Argyle tennis team can accomplish in 2022.

“The transition with my new partner will be interesting,” Van Wyk said. “A lot of hard work will have to happen for us to make it to state. But I see a lot of potential.”

Van Wyk’s Favorites

Favorite Athlete: Novak Djokovic

Favorite Sports Team: Minnesota Vikings

Favorite Food: A good deep dish pizza

Favorite Movie: Ford vs Ferrari

Favorite TV Show: Parks and Rec

Book Currently Reading: “Winning” by Tim Grover and The Bible

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