Calhoun senior Emma King is taking her tennis talents up north. King signed a tennis scholarship to Marist College on Friday in the Calhoun High School Media Center, surrounded by friends and family.
“It’s so fun to get to celebrate with all of my classmates and people that have been influential in my life,” King said. “It’s almost like a culmination of so much hard work and so many different people have been involved.”
King said she committed to Marist because of its beautiful campus, the friendliness of the tennis coaches and team, and competing on the Division I level.
“It seemed like the perfect fit for me,” King said.
King said the most important thing she’s learned about the game of tennis while at CHS is staying calm and collected on the court.
“If you get really upset over a missed call or if you lose a game or something, you have to stay calm and be collected because if you lose your temper or you get upset, then it’s all just going to go downhill,” King said.
The long process has not always been easy. King said she contemplated walking away from tennis this past summer because she did not know if she would get to play tennis at an ideal location after high school. That’s when one of her travel coaches, Edina Gallovits, stepped in to offer some advice.
“My coach told me that when things get hard, you don’t get to just quit,” King said. “You have to keep going and work harder. Something that I’ve learned from tennis and will carry on into my life is when things get hard ... and you think you can’t make it any longer, to just keep going because you’ll see the results of your hard work.”
King said her favorite memory while a Lady Jacket was freshman year, when she felt incredibly close to her fellow teammates and coaches.
“I’m really looking forward to Marist because I feel like it’s going to have that same kind of connection with the team,” King said. “When I met the team, they were all super nice and ... it just seemed like a really great environment to be a part of.”
King said she is looking forward to her transition from a Calhoun Yellow Jacket to a Marist Red Fox.
“I’m really excited about college to meet new types of people because I’ve been in Calhoun my whole life and I don’t have a ton of friends outside of my Calhoun friends and my tennis friends,” King said. “Going to New York is going to be a totally different set of people. I won’t really know anyone, so I’m just really excited to ... experience a different type of culture than the South.”
King’s signing ceremony to a D-I school comes one month to the day after fellow Calhoun senior and teammate Carly Briggs inked a scholarship to compete at the University of Tennessee.
King said being a Division I signee from Calhoun High is a cool feeling considering others who have committed to the highest level in NCAA.
“There’s so many people I’ve looked up to throughout the years that have played Division I sports, whether it be football players or there’s been other tennis players, like my best friend Carly (Briggs),” King said. “It’s really cool to be associated with those kinds of people.”
King said, having grown up in Calhoun, she has enjoyed an embedded support system within the community.
“It’s definitely going to be tough in New York and be far away from that, but I know that they’re still going to be here when I come home,” King said.
New York, typically, gets more snow in winter than Gordon County, but King said she is looking forward to the change of scenery with anticipation.
“At New Year’s, (my family) always go(es) to Chicago, ... so I love big, puffy coats, so I’m kind of excited,” King said. “At Marist, they do practice inside when it’s snowing so that’s easier too because I won’t be cold when I’m playing.”
Marist College is a private, liberal-arts school located in Poughkeepsie, within New York’s Hudson Valley. The Marist Red Foxes compete in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.