Tennis is escape for top singles player at Littleton's Heritage High

Time on court has helped athlete get through stress of mother’s illness

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For Chase Walters, tennis was a way for him to get through a rough time in his life.

Walters is a senior and the No. 1 singles player at Littleton’s Heritage High School. His mother, Laurie, was diagnosed with breast cancer and it’s been tough on her son, but he said tennis was a big help.

“He has played No 1 singles for us for three years,” said Heritage coach Chad Hanson. “He’s been through a lot the last couple years. His mom had breast cancer and was just recently given a clean bill of health. She went through chemo and all the other treatments. Chase has been a steady and fun player to be around the entire time. He’s very strong and never wavered a bit.”

Thanks to tennis.

“It was definitely hard,” said Walters. “Getting back on the court, I’m a different person. All the emotions I have off the court, it all drains out on the court. I love tennis so much, no matter what I do, it tends to be the No, 1 thing and helps me to see things, and whenever I need to get things off my mind, you know you are going to have good and bad days, and tennis helps me get through it.

“She is A-OK and is recovering. I’m happy and blessed. It’s a miracle and I’m thankful to say the least.”

Walters was on the court at Heritage on Aug. 20 for a dual meet against two-time defending state champion Regis Jesuit. The Regis Raiders posted a 7-0 victory over the Eagles, winning all the matches in straight sets, and Walters had to play defending No 1 singles champion Morgan Schilling from Regis.

Walters lost 6-4, 6-1, but showed improvement over last season, when he lost 6-0, 6-0 to Schilling.

“I got destroyed last year,” admitted Walters. “That’s the goal, to try to get better this year. I’ve trained so hard. I want to get better at tennis, that’s the main thing. Being a captain, not only just playing for myself but leading the team.

“I played great against him. His serve is just going to overpower me. He just had a better serve than me. I played well. I think I played my best match and he was just the better player.”

Walters hopes to develop into a more aggressive player this season.

“I’ve got to be more aggressive out there on the court,” he said. “Schilling is a bigger kid that me and hits a harder ball than me. I’d like by the end of the season hit as hard as he can. On the physical side he can hit a harder ball but at the same time you can be aggressive and be a smaller kid. But the mental side, you have to stop being more conservative. You have to think about being aggressive because it is risky.”

After the loss to Regis Jesuit, the Eagles were 1-1 in dual meets so far this season.

“I’m very proud of where are team is at right now,” said Walters. “We can get better. We will be focused by the time regionals and state come. It’s great to get out and play. It’s so fun. Every match, every practice, I’m so grateful to get out there. I’m happy we have a season. Yeah it’s shortened, but if we get through it, it will be fun.”

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