Because the Chesaning school system did not opt to support a formal junior varsity team, varsity coaches Dave Gasper (boys) and Tom Teal (girls) sponsored a tennis club four years ago which functions exactly like a JV team. They were fortunate enough to secure the services of Randy Michaelis, a recently retired industrial engineer who had worked at General Motors for the past 38 years before his recent retirement. Randy organized, coached, and promoted the team. To say the least, his efforts have been successful.
That’s because Randy fields a full roster each year which competes successfully against other schools even though the team is not sanctioned as an interscholastic sport by the school. This past season, they were 6-7-1 and 5-0 in the conference with wins against Portland , Alma , Corunna, Ithaca , and Ovid-Elsie.
In addition, Randy helps with the middle school program as well as assisting with the varsity. Throughout the season, his camera work is ever-present and at the end of each campaign, his presentation skills are called into play at the team banquets. In the off season, he drives Chesaning players to programs in Midland and Saginaw on a regular basis. He also attends the MHSTeCA workshop. And he does all of this without pay.
Randy’s invaluable support has resulted in a varsity program which has qualified for state competition two of the previous three years. “He is an excellent role model for our youth,” says Dave who has also benefited from the services of Randy’s kids. Daughter Kelly was the very first 1S player back in 1999 (before then, there was no girls team). Son Chris played 3S and was runner-up at the state tournament in 2004.
Thus, Randy has contributed to Chesaning tennis on several levels. His impact is not only substantial but much appreciated by Dave and Tom and the community he serves. Recognition on a statewide level is appropriate.
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