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Rettke named USTA’s top Alabama tennis player

Vince Rettke was named "Junior Male Player of the Year" for U.S. Tennis Association of Alabama for 2016. CONTRIBUTED
Vince Rettke was named “Junior Male Player of the Year” for U.S. Tennis Association of Alabama for 2016. CONTRIBUTED

Athlete of the Week

MADISON – Humility is one of Vince Rettke’s admirable qualities, Sylvia Lambert, Principal at Bob Jones High School, said.

Tennis coach Krystine Roberts recently told Lambert that Rettke had won “Junior Male Player of the Year” with U.S. Tennis Association of Alabama for two consecutive years. Rettke had never mentioned his awards.

“Vince is an amazing athlete, excellent student and a humble person,” Lambert said.

“During the opening chapter of the yet-to-be-finished ‘Vincent Rettke: A Tennis Story,’ the protagonist didn’t exactly have a good grasp on the sport,” Bill Bryant, Vince’s high school tennis coach, said.

Vincent’s parents, Gordon and Olivia Rettke, enrolled four-year-old Vincent in an Athletic Club Alabama clinic. “Vincent had the racket’s handle in his mouth most of the time. (The pro) would shrug her shoulders and shake her head,” Gordon said.

Vincent still has people shaking their heads, but in awe, not exasperation. He’s considered one of the South’s best junior tennis players. Vincent won the state single’s title, Class 7A, in 2015. He’s a six-season player for Bob Jones.

“Unlike most contemporaries, he hasn’t spent time at tennis academies in bigger cities like Atlanta and hasn’t been home-schooled. He learned to play (with) Dublin Park pro Willis Mbandi, Canebrake pro Laron Pressnell and his father,” Bryant said.

Gordon Rettke retired as an engineer from NASA. Olivia Rettke works as an accountant for Tec Masters.

Q & A

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Pizza

Q: What restaurant do you like to go to in Madison?

A: Las Trojas

Q: What is your favorite sports team?

A: Boston Red Sox

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: Play cards and make music.

Q: What is your favorite sports memory?

A: “Last year, I made it to the fourth round of the nationals at Kalamazoo, Mich. I lost to Stefan Kozlov, the world’s No. 2 junior. Kozlov has since turned pro. I won two games, but it was a blast to play him,” Vincent said.

Q: What are your plans?

A: He’s looking forward to playing tennis for Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. “I’m ready to be pushed to see what my potential could be.”

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