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Hi-Line Athlete Profile: Nicole McCracken, Chinook Tennis

Tennis is for life for Chinook's McCracken


April 20, 2017

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Chinook senior Nicole McCracken lines up a forehand during a tennis match against the Havre Blue Ponies Tuesday at the Bill Vaughey Memorial Courts. McCracken has played a lot of sports as a Sugarbeeter, but she says tennis is her passion. And that passion has paid off for Chinook as the Beeters have won the last three Class B-C state championships.

There is a belief and actually some strong evidence behind it that participating in extracurricular activities is vital to an education.

Well if that's the case, then Nicole McCracken has gotten the most out of her four years at Chinook High School.

McCracken, who is a senior on the Sugarbeeter tennis team, has been active in athletics throughout her high school career. In fact, at one time or another she has been a part of each sport offered in Chinook. She played volleyball for all four years in high school and is now doing the same with the tennis team.

Beyond that, McCracken played varsity basketball for the Beeters before joining the cheerleading squad this past season. However, with all the sports she has played, McCracken said that her first love has always been tennis, which is a sport she said her family has been involved in for years,

"I have been playing tennis for a lot longer than since high school," McCracken said. "I have been playing it since I was younger and it's something that my family has been involved with for years, so it's just kind of a family thing."

Over the past four years, McCracken's passion for the sport of tennis has shown on the court as she has gotten better and better. She has been playing singles since she was a freshman and last year made it to state. She lost her first match at the Class B/C state tennis tournament, but went on to win her next three and was one win away from finishing in the top six and getting onto the podium.

Yet her points helped Chinook score a total of 56 en route to the team's third consecutive Class B/C state championship. And with McCracken, along with a number of other experienced players back for the Beeters such as Jamie Roth, Sierra Swank and Megan Pruttis, Chinook seems poised to win it all again.

McCracken and the Beeters were in Havre Tuesday to take on the Blue Ponies in the annual dual between the two squads, which consisted of around 20 matches. Chinook won the majority of the matches thanks in part of McCracken, who defeated Paige Nelson, Kadyn Acor and Teagen Fee of Havre.

The senior, who is hoping to help lead the Beeters to a fourth consecutive state championship, sat down with the Havre Daily News at Tuesday's dual for five questions.

HDN: So what is it about tennis that you like so much?

McCracken: "I like it because you can play it past high school, you can play it outside school, it's kind of like a lifetime sport. It's more laid back than some of the other sports and it's more personal. It's on you if you lose."

HDN: Seems like this year, the weather has been better compared to previous years, how can that impact tennis?

McCracken: "A lot of times, I remember it being like winter and having to wear a jacket and play. But mostly, it can make it hard because you don't know where the ball is going to go as much. But so far this year, it's been really nice except for a couple rainy days."

HDN: So how much do you guys enjoy coming up and playing Havre?

McCracken: "It's fun because we know most of these girls. We have played them in a lot of other sports too, so it's some friendly competition and that makes it a little more personal and fun."

HDN: What has been the best part of playing sports in Chinook for you?

McCracken: "It definitely has been making friends with teammates. You work together for four years and become friends over that time. The competitiveness is fun too, but making friends is the best."

HDN: So what is your goal for this season?

McCracken: "Well I think that we all want to win a state championship, so that is one goal. But mostly I just want to place and help the team win another state championship."


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