Q&A with Ethan Howard, Russellville High School tennis senior

Q: How old were you when you started playing tennis?

A: 16

Q: Was there anyone special in your life who helped you become a great player?

A: Nah

Q: How do you get ready for a match?

A: I warm up, forget everything else going on in the world and just focus on winning.

Q: What do you like to do when you are not involved with tennis?

A: I love to be involved in the community and other school activities. I am very dedicated when it comes to my grades, and I also love to sing and act.

Q: What factors do you feel have influenced you the most to become the player and person you are today?

A: My family and my faith.

Q: Did you have any routines or superstitions before or in a match?

A: The team has a mini racquet that is colored gold, and we carry the gold racquet to every match for good luck.

Q: What is your favorite tennis memory?

A: Hanging with my teammates after sweeping a team. Nothing better than chilling with the team, hyped up after a win.

Q: What tennis player has influenced you most in the game? Why?

A: Jack Sock. I love his flashy doubles gameplay, and he just seems like a cool guy.

Q: What is the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome in your playing career?

A: Starting so late. I started playing tennis at 16, and most of the guys I was competing with already had three to seven years of experience. It was hard to outplay and outsmart someone who has much more experience than you.

Q: What is life after being a tennis player for you?

A: Pretty much the same.

Q: What are your thoughts on your season coming to an abrupt end?

A: It stinks not just for me but for all senior spring athletes. Makes you so frustrated, especially when the team had so much going for it. I’d always thought I’d play my last match in Mobile, not on a random afternoon in March.