Forest Lake Christian tennis stocked with siblings
So they’re not exactly singing the refrain from Sister Sledge’s 1979 smash hit, but ask a Forest Lake Christian tennis player what makes the Falcons such a tight-knit group and the answer might have you humming right along.
“We … are … fam … il … y.”
Indeed. No less than nine of the 22 FLC netters this spring are siblings. They’re not all related to each other, but each of the nine do have a brother or sister on the squad, including senior Dan Robinson and his freshman sister Ali, who – by the way – just so happen to have another family member in the mix.
Their father, Steve Robinson, is the Falcons’ head coach.
“That’s one of the very large blessings, there’s no question,” said Steve, who also serves as FLC’s athletic director. “They both have just loved being a part of this team. I’m speaking mostly of Dan, as this is his fourth year on it.
“And Ali? She was working like crazy to even make the team, just so they could be teammates.”
Tennis at Forest Lake Christian is on the rise, Steve said, pointing not to the Falcons 10-0 overall record – or their 7-0 Golden Empire League mark – but to a large turnout to this spring’s tryouts for the FLC tennis team.
“We do have a lot of brothers and sisters, but it hasn’t been easy for them all to make the team,” he said. “We had to cut 14 players this year. So these kids, they’ve worked for it, basically.”
One of those hard workers is senior Andrew Hawkinson, who plays No. 1 doubles alongside senior teammate Scott Tracy.
“We’ve played together since we were sophomores, so we’re a good team,” said Hawkinson, who was voted team captain by his teammates this spring. “We work very well together and, at this point of the season, we are undefeated.”
In addition to being the team’s leader, Hawkinson also is the twin brother of Chelsea Hawkinson, who plays No. 1 girls doubles with Jessica Will. Andrew and Chelsea are actually two of the family’s triplets, though sister Danielle prefers the scene of the drama club to that of the tennis court.
Sibling rivalry? Not so much, no.
“We joke about it,” said Andrew, an Eagle Scout who – like his sisters – is also active in 4-H Club. “But seriously? No.”
Chelsea, though, says the family atmosphere just might be the type of advantage the Falcons need for a successful season. She said the team’s certainly a tight knit group.
“I think it give us a real unity on our team,” she said. “We definitely get along really well.”
In addition to the Robinsons and the Hawkinsons, the Falcons also feature the Boyds, the Coibions and the Roses. Senior Brianna Boyd and her sophomore brother, Kit, are on the roster, as are junior Nick Coibion and his freshman brother Thomas. Matt Rose, a freshman, also adds to the family atmosphere alongside his twin brother, Zach, the team’s statistician.
“You know, Zach didn’t make the top 11 (for a roster spot), but he’s just so dedicated,” Steve Robinson said. “Whatever it is we need, he says ‘I’ll do it, whatever you need.’
“He exemplifies that attitude. It’s just incredible. He’s dying to be a part of this, to have a chance to be among the top 11.”
Being a part of this team, of course, means you’re also part of the family, figuratively and – sometimes – literally. That’s something Dan Robinson said he won’t take for granted in this, his final season swinging the racquet for the Falcons. Two weeks ago, he took the court alongside his little sister for the first time in his prep career, lining up for a mixed doubles victory.
“All of the fighting goes on at home,” Dan joked. “We keep it clean on the courts.
“It’s weird, but actually it’s pretty cool. As far as it being my senior year? It’s kind of sad, because this team’s pretty much like a family.”
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