The sound you heard is me tooting my own horn. Sort of. I’m not good at this kind of thing but a good friend of mine has written a book about the tennis teams I coached back in the dark ages. The author is Dana Yost and he was the editor of the Marshall Independent, a daily paper published in Marshall, Minnesota. Prior to editing the paper he was sports editor at that paper and covered all manner of sports in the entire region, including those tennis teams, and did so extremely well — so well he won numerous awards. He is also a published poet and his writing is top drawer in both venues.
His book is titled A Higher Level and it describes the remarkable group of young women who played tennis at the regional university where I taught for nearly 40 years. That group of women made the tennis program one of the most successful sports programs in the school’s history and gained the university national prominence as one of the premier women’s tennis programs in the upper Midwest. They were undefeated in their conference eight years in a row, won nine consecutive conference championships, appeared in eleven consecutive National Championships, were nationally ranked by the N.A.I.A., and won a number of prestigious awards for several of their players and their coach
If you want to read a heart-warming, rags-to-riches sports story about this talented group of women who played tennis at a very high level in the relentless winds of the Great Plains with little institutional support, terrible facilities, and no scholarship money to speak of, you should buy this book. It combines the writer’s award-winning journalistic style with his love of poetry and great literature — and his ability to tell a good story. In addition to the sports story, this book also ventures into interesting side-lanes, discussing both the parallels with the hearty pioneers who settled the region and the struggles of a women’s sports team in the early days of Title IX. It also contrasts this small program with the huge, corrupt NCAA Division I athletics programs that have hogged all the headlines recently.
The book is published by Ellis Press and can be purchased for the very reasonable price of $15.00 from Ellis press It is also available from Amazon in Kindle form. and will be available from Amazon in paper form after Christmas.