|May 17, 2012||Filled under Covering the Field, Sports||
AnnaClare Smith is fierce. More specifically Champlain Valley Union (CVU) head girls tennis coach Amy deGroot quips, “This is AnnaClare’s fourth season playing singles for the team. She is a fierce competitor who digs deep to find a way to win matches.”
Smith, who will turn 18 on Sept. 18, 2012, has lived in Shelburne her entire life. Her family includes parents Lori and Matt, and older sister Cassie, a junior at Connecticut College.
When asked about the first time she picked up a racquet Smith insists she is unable to remember, “I have been playing tennis forever; basically my whole life. My mom and dad are big tennis enthusiasts. And my sister plays too. I think tennis is the best sport for a family to play together,” she said.
A 4-year varsity tennis player and senior captain, Smith brings veteran experience to an otherwise young team. “I know tennis and I’m very organized,” Smith said about her strengths as a captain. “Tennis is fun and because I really like the sport it’s easy to get the rest of the team to feed off that enthusiasm.” Coach deGroot adds, “Because AnnaClare is a fierce competitor, she can speak with conviction about that to her teammates.”
“I don’t have any crazy pre-match rituals,” she professed. “Except that I might choose to wear an article of clothing that brought me luck in a previous match. And I never take off my jewelry,” she added. Smith may call it luck, but it’s more than that: it’s skill, dedication, and hard work that have the team on its 10-match winning streak. Currently undefeated, the Redhawks have four more matches to go before playoffs.
In addition to tennis, Smith is a 4-year varsity alpine skier, a CVU school board representative, and CVU’s student body and student council president. It is her work as the latter that has her most proud. “We [the CVU student body and student council] achieved a lot this year,” Smith commented. “The school participated in a fundraising effort called Café for a Cause. On that day all the money from the cafeteria went to flood relief. At the same time we collected donations from students and families. Those combined efforts raised a total of $7,000 which was donated to the Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund,” she continued. “My greatest achievement was presenting that check to the Good Neighbor Fund. Seeing the devastation firsthand and knowing that we were a part of the solution was a really positive experience,” she shared.
And there are more positive experiences ahead. Smith has chosen to attend Middlebury College in the fall. “I wanted a small college in a New England setting with skiing nearby. Middlebury met all the requirements.” Currently undecided on a course of study, Smith will consider pursing her interests in math, economics, or physics. But there’s plenty of time for academic pursuits…for now Smith is looking to work hard, find a way to dig deep, and help lead the CVU girls tennis team back to its winning ways.