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Hi-Line Athlete Profile: McKenzie Tommerup, Havre High Tennis

McKenzie Tommerup roller skates toward her final season of Blue Pony tennis


March 20, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Havre High senior McKenzie Tommerup hits a forehand during the 2018 Cut Bank Invitational. Tommerup is in her fourth year of tennis for the Blue Ponies, and third as a varsity singles player. She's also starring in HHS' production of "The Little Mermaid." For more on the Blue Pony tennis team, see Thursday's Havre Daily News sports section.

When it came to playing sports, there was really only one that McKenzie Tommerup was ever interested in and that was tennis.

"It was close to my house," Tommerup said of the local tennis courts. "I started playing around second grade when I started being able to walk off on my own. It was something my brother and I used to do together."

Years later, Tommerup has been a varsity player for the Havre High girls tennis teams for two seasons, going on three and she has spent all four seasons representing the Blue Ponies. Tommerup, who doesn't play any other sports, is a singles player for HHS and she said she likes it that way.

"It's not that I don't like my teammates or anything," Tommerup said. "I just didn't like the idea of playing on team sports and having to rely on other people but myself. I feel like I would let my partner or my teammate down, so I like just having to rely on myself. Then I can learn and improve on my own."

Ever since she was a freshman, Tommerup has improved and she was one of the top singles players on the girls team that past two years, although she has fallen short of reaching the state tournament, which is one of her goals this season.

"It just hasn't quite worked out the past couple of years," Tommerup said. "I have gotten close and it just didn't happen. But I have been working hard and I just have a good feeling that this might be my year."

"McKenzie is a prime example of hard work paying off," HHS tennis coach George Ferguson said. "She is such a great kid, and she's exactly what our program is all about. She came to us a freshman, willing to try out the sport and learn it, and she ended up not only becoming a really strong player for us, but she fell in love with the sport along the way. She's already accomplished a lot, and I think she's going to do great things this year, but I'm already really proud of her because she really represents our program the right way. You only have to spend a few minutes around her, no matter the time of year, and she's talking about tennis, and the tennis team in some way, and that's everything you could ask for as a coach.

"She's also part of a really special group of senior girls on our team," Ferguson added. "That group has really put in the time. Every single one of them loves the sport and loves being a Blue Pony tennis player, and that entire group, they're going to have a big season, and McKenzie is certainly a big part of that."

While Tommerup doesn't take part in any other sports outside of tennis, that doesn't mean that she shies away from extra-curricular activities and in the upcoming play "The Little Mermaid" she is going to play the lead role of Ariel.

Tommerup has also taken part in a number of other musicals and plays over the years and she said there is something unique about being on stage.

"I just love the feeling of being someone else," Tommerup said. "It's fun to be able to escape and be a different person. I think that's really fun."

In addition to getting ready to play Ariel, Tommerup is getting prepped for her senior season of tennis, which Havre is scheduled to start Saturday in Cut Bank. Another big target for her comes May 16-17 when the Ponies will be in Lewistown for divisionals. Yet, before she and the Ponies get the regular season underway, the Havre Daily News caught up with Tommerup for five questions.

HDN: Why is tennis your only sport?

Tommerup: "When I was younger, I used to play with my brother and we basically taught ourselves. It was the only thing that was fun for me to do."

HDN: So what do you think it will be like with your brother (Randy is a freshman on the boys team) on the team?

Tommerup: "He's like my best friend, so hopefully he makes varsity because I have been practicing with him. I think that will be fun."

HDN: What is your plan after high school?

Tommerup: "I am going to be going to the University of Montana but I have no idea what I am going to do. I was thinking about doing journalism but now I am not sure. I am just going to go with it and see what I am interested in."

HDN: What is your goal for this season?

Tommerup: "I just want to get to state. I want the girls team to win state that is the main goal for the team, but I would love to be able to get to state with my teammates."

HDN: What did you enjoy the most about Blue Pony tennis?

Tommerup: "Even though I like playing singles, I love the team. No matter what we all do, when someone loses we know what to do. We know when someone is upset and not to talk to them, but they know we are there to support them, even though we don't talk to them and I really love that. We are always watching. And (coach George Ferguson) is really set on that, watching your teammates and supporting them and I have really enjoyed that."


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