Calvin Mark has been successful both on and off the tennis court this year.
In addition to being one of the best students academically at Fremont Christian School, Mark, 18, was ranked among the top five players in California on the Tennis Recruiting Network ranking list for high school seniors. After being sought after by some of the most prestigious schools in the country, including Dartmouth and Cornell, the Union City native recently signed a letter of intent to play on the men’s tennis team this fall at the United States Naval Academy.
“They have a really good program in aerospace engineering, which is what I want to major in,” said Mark. “On top of that, they also have a really strong team that consistently makes it to the NCAA tournament every year.”
John Officer, head coach of the Navy men’s tennis program, said he thinks Mark has the potential to be a major contributor to the team.
“We’re looking forward to having him,” said Officer. “He’ll be starting out at a pretty high position most likely, so we’re hoping he can be an impact player right away.”
Mark was introduced to the sport by his father at an early age, and he began taking the sport more seriously at age 11. He now trains almost every day at Tompkins Tennis in Fremont, where he takes part in junior clinics along with some of the best players in northern California.
“We’ve been working a lot of fitness, because that plays a much bigger role in tennis at the college level,” said Mark. “Technically, we’ve also been working on my serve and backhand.”
Although Mark does some work with the coaches at Tompkins Tennis, he said that his dad has remained his primary coach throughout his entire career.
“My dad is very much involved in my tennis and still comes to all my matches,” said Mark. “I haven’t really played a match without him watching, so that will be somewhat of an adjustment when playing at the college level.”
Because Fremont Christian School doesn’t have a tennis team, playing at Navy will be Mark’s first time having a group of players supporting him during matches.
“Apart from doubles matches, I’ve never really had that team environment before,” said Mark. “I keep hearing from players that college tennis is supposed to be a really fun experience, so I’m excited to get started this fall.”