McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local Sports

March 24, 2014

A “chance” encounter for Chance Sistrunk

(Continued)

McALESTER —

Sistrunk said he plans to study environmental or biochemical engineering, and after finishing college might want to apply his major to the oil industry. He said several family members have worked as drillers, but he’s the first to go to college.

Seminole is a two-year college. Sistrunk said that if he can’t find a four-year school to play tennis for after, he’d like to finish his studies at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.

When he’s not playing or watching tennis — he said his favorite player is Novak Djokovic, the current No. 2 player in the world — Sistrunk enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee. He’s an organizer for a group of local high-school Ultimate players, having first discovered the sport when some friends of his in college invited him to play.

“After that game, I was like, ‘Wow, that’s actually really, really fun,’ and so I started looking up different throws on YouTube,” Sistrunk said.

“If you’re going to do something, you have to be good at it.”

Sistrunk said the stamina required to play tennis made it easy to play Ultimate. Like in tennis, the two main Ultimate throws are called the forehand and the backhand, and the mechanics are very similar in both sports.

Ultimate’s primary two throws are called the forehand and the backhand. They mimic the same-named strokes in tennis, and Sistrunk said the throws came naturally to him.

Sistrunk is also an at-large member of the student council at McAlester High School, and he’s a member of Students in Faith. He’s also an active member of First Baptist Church in McAlester, running a study group for male student-athletes that he said started with six people and has now ballooned to more than 30.

“He put in a lot a lot of hard work, and it’s really paid off for him,” Waller said of Sistrunk. “I’ll definitely miss him because he’s athletic, he’s fun to be around, he has a great personality and he has a bright future.”

Sistrunk may not have known the path he was setting himself on by attending that first summer tennis camp.

But six years later, tennis is now an inseparable part of Sistrunk’s past, present and future.

Contact Matt Goisman at mgoisman@mcalesternews.com.

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