Boyack Athlete of the Week.jpeg

Every high school athlete dreams of going to the state tournament at least once in his/her career. In most team sports, it’s a pretty straightforward process. Win enough games so that the convoluted Power Points system can’t mess things up and you’re good. In most individual sports (cross country, swimming), it’s also pretty clear. Make sure that your time in your event is among the top couple dozen in your Division is the state and you’re there. 

In tennis, however, it’s as though the Arizona Interscholastic Association dug up and re-animated Franz Kafka and told him to come up with an especially twisted system to determine which kids go to state. And then, after Kafka is done, the final slots at state are determined by a committee! You know they say that a camel is a horse built by a committee? In this case, the horse comes out looking like the one-eyed cow in Picasso’s “Guernica.”

Marana’s Tatum Boyack managed to survive that process and made it to the state tournament as part of a doubles team. It was a just reward for an outstanding season. She went an outstanding 8-4 in singles during the regular season and also posted an excellent 9-3 mark in doubles.

She and her partner, Hailey Oldham, lost a heartbreaking first-round match in three sets but she really enjoyed the experience. “It was so much fun,” she recalls. “There were so many great players there. It’s amazing.”

A straight-A student, she plans of attending Brigham Young University in the Fall, with thoughts of someday becoming an NICU nurse. She might also become one of the growing number of young women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to go on a mission. For generations, such missionaries were almost exclusively young men, but today, nearly a quarter of the missionaries are women.

She mentioned that she would like to go to Italy, maybe Florence, but those of us who have seen “The Book of Mormon” know that it generally doesn’t work that way. For now, she’s finishing up her studies (her favorite subject is History), working at Chick-fil-A and soaking in the fact that her high school athletic career (she also played volleyball) is over.

“It was great,” she says. “I’m looking forward to what comes next.”

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