Cody Esparza signed to play with the Bulldogs beginning in the fall of 2014. Esparza, a senior at McMinn County High School, said he considered Carson-Newman University and Lee University, but ultimately decided TWC was the place where he wanted to continue his tennis career.
Esparza has been playing tennis for only five years after spending most of his childhood on the soccer field rather than the tennis court. He began playing tennis in the 7th grade and he's never regretted changing sports."You don't have to depend on anybody else to play well," Esparza said. "You have to play well every time. I like that challenge. It's more a mental challenge than a physical one and I like that."
Esparza still has one more year of high school tennis and he is hoping to reach the State Tournament this year. He is the Cherokees' No. 1 singles player and on the No. 1 doubles team.
Once he does begin his college career, Esparza knows the game will be more intense and he will face better competition. But LaRue believes Esparza is good enough to help out as a freshman as the team's No. 5 or No. 6 singles player.
Esparza wants to study physical therapy and Spanish, and maybe minor in business.
Photo by Scott Power-Daily Post Athenian
Cody Esparza (seated center) was joined by (sitting) his father Arturo Esparza; (back row from left) Hunter Woodcock, Jaqueline Ponce, Sabrina Striker, Jeffrey Parkinson, TWC Coach Eric LaRue, former McMinn tennis coach Susan Ray and McMinn Athletic Director Jimmy Haynie.