Nathan Simmons

Athlete Spotlight: Millbrook High School boys’ tennis player Nathan Simmons

Millbrook High School 17-year-old junior

Sport: Tennis. Position: No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles

Parents: Amy and Eddie Simmons

Hometown: Winchester

What do you love about tennis: I love how it’s a team sport and a solo sport at the exact same time. You get to play, interact with each other, go on bus rides and you get to play your own game.

Most memorable moment in tennis: My freshman year when we had an away match against Kettle Run we stopped at a KFC/Taco Bell mix restaurant. Our bus had broken down and we were trying to get the bus fixed. We found an old stick behind a bank next to the restaurant and we decided to play baseball for two hours. It was a good one.

Most embarrassing moment in tennis: My very first freshman-year match was against Rock Ridge High School which is about an hour-and-a-half away. Right before I was about to serve in one of the final games, a goose flew over my head and decided to drop me a present. Apparently it gave me good luck because I was the only one who won a match that day.

Most difficult moment in tennis: It’s definitely improving my serve game and returning serve game because I have a lot of good players I play against. ... Improving that is one of the most difficult and detrimental things to my game.

Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: My grandparents (Lanell and Thomas Vandlandingham) because I don’t get to see them very often. They live all of the way in south Georgia and I’d like to see them every now and then; Tom Cruise, because I love his movies and he’s my favorite actor; Abraham Lincoln, because I’m just curious about him.

Biggest athletic influence: [Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfielder] Mookie Betts, just because of how awesome he is on the field and he is great with his teammates. He’s really great at what he does and he’s also a great person outside of the field. He’s always feeding the homeless and doing great things. It’s just because he’s a good guy.

Who is your favorite teacher: My sophomore English teacher Miss [Leslie] Lech. She provided me with a lot of advice and support and in my tennis career as well. She came to my match [recently] to cheer me on and it helped. I won that match 8-0.

Favorite athlete: Mookie Betts

Favorite sports team: Boston Red Sox

Favorite movie: “Total Recall,” the 2012 version

Favorite TV show: “The Office”

Favorite song: “Save Your Tears” by The Weeknd

Favorite food: Pepperoni pizza

Worst thing you’ve eaten: Egg roll.

Plans after high school: I would love to go to Lord Fairfax Community College and get my associate’s [degree] there and actually go into physical therapy at Shenandoah. I’ve always wanted to go into the medical field. Technically, I’m in the medical field right now. I’m a lifeguard at the [Valley Health] wellness center so I guess that kind of counts. I’ve always had the desire to be a helpful influence or helpful person in general. That [physical therapy] job gives me that opportunity.

— Compiled by Walt Moody

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