By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsemail@example.com
Fresh off a fourth straight Class A state team tennis title as well as his first state doubles championship, recently graduated Havre High senior Jeremy Heninger has signed an NCAA national letter of intent to play tennis for the Division II Montana State University-Billings Yellowjackets of the Pacific West Conference.
The opportunity to step up to the next level of tennis and play for Montana tennis guru and MSU-Billings head coach Jerry Peach is a dream come true for Heninger.
"This is a great opportunity because not a lot of Montana kids get to play college tennis," Heninger said. "It is going to be tough, though, because MSU-Billings plays in the toughest tennis conference in all of Division II. But I am really looking forward to the challenge."
Heninger will play both singles and doubles for the Yellowjackets as is the case with most college tennis programs.
He is coming off one of the most prolific tennis careers in Havre High history. Not only did Heninger play on four consecutive state championship teams, but he also was part of four Central A Divisional team titles as well.
As a freshman, Heninger captured a fourth place at divisionals and won one match at the state tournament. In his sophomore year, he took second at divisionals and second at state. His junior year he captured the first of his two Central A doubles titles with partner Seth Maristuen and then went on to capture a third-place finish at the state meet in Kalispell. And in 2003, Heninger and partner Daine Solomon again captured the Central A title and the Class A state championship that capped off an undefeated season.
"My high school career has been really special," Heninger said. "And now I am really excited to take what I have learned to the next level and see what I can do."
While the transition to college life is never easy, Heninger will have a little help from his friends. Former HHS tennis stars Kellen Malone and Seth Maristuen already play for the Yellowjackets tennis program and Heninger said that having two friends in the program aided in his decision to attend MSU-Billings over schools like the University of Mary and BYU-Hawaii, which were both actively recruiting him.
"I have been playing tennis with Seth and Kellen for a long time," Heninger said. "So it is good that they will be there because I know they will help when I get there and that will make going to college easier to get used to."
Heninger will major in athletic training at MSU-Billings next fall. He is the son of Jill Miller of Havre and Tom Heninger of Medaline Falls, Wash.