Hunter Keele (seated center) joined by his parents, Gary and Rhonda Keele; (back row from left) Meigs Tennis Coach Jennifer Stafford, TWC Coach Eric LaRue and personal tennis coach Louis Royal.
DECATUR - Meigs County's Hunter Keele signed to play with the Bulldogs beginning in the fall of 2014. Keele had given up baseball and basketball; he also was just getting over an illness and a back injury. He turned to tennis and, a year later, he is going to be a college tennis player.
But Keele, who just began playing tennis as something to do a year and three months ago, has found a sport that he loves. He works with former TWC tennis coach Louis Royal in Knoxville. Now Keele plays as much tennis as he can.
Hunter Keele wanted to attend Tennessee Wesleyan from the start. He has already met members of the team and gets along with them well, making the decision to be a Bulldog an easy one.
"My top priority was to go TWC and play tennis," Keele said. "They are close to home and it is a great school. Signing with Wesleyan gives me a sense of accomplishment, really. Especially with everything I have been through."
Keele still has one more season of high school tennis and he said he hopes to reach the state tournament this year. After that, it's off to Wesleyan where he plans to major in pre-physical therapy and minor in Spanish.
LaRue said Keele has a strong work ethic and that playing sports such as basketball and baseball has helped his athleticism. While he is new to playing tennis and still has things to learn, there is one positive aspect to being new to the sport.
"He's not going to get burned out like some kids who have been playing since they were 7 or 8 years old," LaRue said. "He will be peaking in his junior and senior years."
Keele is the son of Gary and Rhonda Keele of Decatur.