-Marcelo Maziero, Sports Editor
Senders Barrick was born in Brentwood, Tenn. in a family that always had a close relation with sports. His father, Steve Barrick, used to play college basketball for Western Kentucky University and now works as the associate athletic director at Belmont University, and his mother, Jan Barrick, was a tennis player at Belmont University. If that was not enough, his oldest brother, Houston Barrick, was also a tennis player at University of Virginia. While playing at Virginia, Houston Barrick managed to take his school to the number one position in tennis in the United States. He was also the number one college tennis player in the country.
According to Barrick, “The influence my brother had on me was the main reason why I started playing tennis myself. I looked up to him, I wanted to play like he played.” This pushed Barrick to give tennis a try when he was seven-years-old, and he ended up liking it. He took his practices and tournaments very seriously, but when he was a freshman in high school he decided to stop playing tennis. “I was feeling a lot of pressure on me. At that point my brother was the best college tennis player in the whole country and I could not be nearly as good as he was. Because of that I decided to quit tennis.”
Two years after he decided to stop playing, Barrick had a conversation with his mother that made him rethink about the sport. “I remember her telling me that I should try to start playing again . . . .She told me that if I were an athlete it would be much easier to get into a great college. That was the moment I decided to bring tennis back to my life,” Barrick said. In his junior year he joined his high school tennis team and did not lose one single match.
When the time to go to college came, his mother’s words became reality. The fact that Barrick was part of a team in high school helped him to have several options indeed, and he found himself interested in Belmont University and Mississippi College. “I knew I wanted to be a part of a team in college as well, and I also had in my mind that it had to be a Christian University. I came to MC visitation, met coach Boteler, walked around campus, and I knew that here was the place I wanted to come,” Barrick said.
Currently majoring in administration of justice, he feels like he made the right choice coming to MC. Besides being a tennis player, he is also a Civitan member. “I like being here a lot. I met great people, people with huge hearts. And being with the tennis guys brought me some experiences I never thought I would have, such as meeting people from very different countries. I learn a lot from them, and I hope I am affecting them somehow as well,” Barrick said.
Barrick said he is confident about the upcoming season and believes the team has what is necessary to do great. “I have not played here while we were DII, but I have seen my brother playing DI so many times that it makes me believe we are a very solid team. It is going to be a great challenge for all of us, but nothing we can’t overcome,” he said.
The tennis season starts at Feb. 18 with a home match against Alcorn State University.