Athlete of the Month: Erin Wheeler

Erin Wheeler, a senior at Reynolds, decided at a young age that she wanted to play tennis and become a stand out player. Ever since then, nothing has stood in her way.

Wheeler started playing tennis when she was only ten years old and has continued to play at a high level throughout her life. Wheeler fell in love with the sport right when her untainted shoes met the clay.

“I started playing tennis because both of my parents did,” Wheeler said. “They always encouraged me to get out on the court and practice my game.”

Acquiring the skills necessary to play tennis and be competitive does not come after just one practice.

“Usually, I practice four or five times a week for an hour and a half each time,” Wheeler said.   

Wheeler’s love of the game and her desire to win matches have led her to Reynolds varsity tennis for all four years  of her high school career.

Wheeler was able to hang on to a top six seeding through all four years as well. Even as a freshman, Wheeler had no problem facing the best seniors to determine if she would get to play. Currently, Wheeler is fourth seed on the team.

“What makes Erin a special player is that she always has a smile while on the court and her mindset is like no other,” sophomore teammate Marlo Kirk said.

Wheeler’s work ethic has allowed her to secure a spot as Co-Captain. She has a winning mindset.
“Erin has the rare ability to take unfortunate outcomes like a loss and leave it in the past. She can completely forget about it, and that’s what sets her apart from everybody else,” junior teammate Caitlin Casey said.

Her serves over the last four years make opponent’s legs tremble.

“What makes me good is that I am always motivated, have a strong consistent backhand and am very bold up close to the net,” Wheeler said.  

Like every athlete, having an undefeated season is a dream. Wheeler’s dream became a reality when her and her team went undefeated two years in a row. In her junior year, Wheeler recalls playing in a doubles match with her good friend and teammate Charlotte Ririe.

“There was no better moment in my tennis career then when I hit an over the head shot to win the match,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler is a great tennis player, and a great person. What makes Wheeler interesting and incredible is that she is well rounded. She loves to travel and go to amusement parks. Her favorite place in the U.S. is San Francisco because of the diversity and food. She is indulges herself in the community often participating in an organization called Top Teens of America. Wheeler goes around the community doing volunteer work, fundraising for charity, and reading to underprivileged kids.

“Volunteer work is a great way for me to get involved with the community and really make an immediate difference,” Wheeler said.

Photo from Andrew Dye/Winston-Salem Journal