By Murray Gleffe, Correspondent
Name: Kole Kolinski
Activity: Boys Tennis
Kole Kolinski burst onto the Jaguars tennis scene as a Freshman in 2015 and hasn’t looked back since.
He made it to the first round of the WIAA State Tournament each of his first two seasons and then broke through last year as a Junior winning his first-round match.
Heading into his final season, Kolinski sits at 61-19 and has a chance to make history by becoming the first tennis player ever at Ashwaubenon High School to qualify for state five times (the Jaguars also made Team State in 2015) in four years!!
What is it like to be a leader on the tennis team at Ashwaubenon High School? “For me, it’s quite an honor, because I started at Ashwaubenon HS through school choice knowing only one other person. To be in a leadership role now and have people look up to me really makes me feel like everything I’ve worked for at this school has come full circle and rewarded me. Being a leader on all of my sports teams is something that I take seriously, and I feel the responsibility of creating a pathway for the future leaders of the teams. It makes me more aware of the need to lead by example and be a role model for new people to become better teammates and better players.”
What is your most embarrassing moment ever in tennis? “Unfortunately, I have had a few and I’m not sure which is the most embarrassing. One is when my shorts ripped in the middle of a match. Another is the time I let go of my racquet during an overhead. It went flying at the opponent on the other side of the net and landed right in front of his feet. The one that is really bad is the time I served a 100MPH flat serve that hit my doubles partner David Clark in the back of the head (sorry David).”
How many years have you been involved in tennis? “I started back when I was 3 years old living in Chicago. I practiced by hitting against a brick wall in front of our house and my parents told me I had to stop to let pedestrians and their dogs go by on their way to the dog park up the road. Sometimes they’d stop and watch me and that’s when my parents thought about putting me in lessons. I got my real start when I began in group drills when I was 5 and participated in tournaments when I was 7.”
What is your most memorable moment? “Helping the tennis team qualify for Team State for the first time in school history my freshman year. It’s awesome to know that your own name is now a part of the school’s history. I feel like AHS has given so much to me, and I’ve been able to give back with my part in AHS athletics.”
What’s the hardest part about a tennis match? “Definitely trying to keep focused and in the right mental state in a tough close match that can last up to two hours. It’s hard not to get down on yourself when you lose a point. Trying to find energy after playing for so long is really hard, and when you’re losing, you have no adrenalin. Tennis is a very emotional sport because it’s psychologically demanding.”
If you could be somebody for a day, who would it be? “I would definitely be Morgan Freeman, so I could talk to myself and just listen to the sound of my voice all day.”
What are your college aspirations? “I’m looking at 3 different schools in Wisconsin. Right now, Eau Claire is at the top of the list, and where ever I end up going, I plan to be on the tennis team.”
What would your dream job be once you graduate? “Honestly, I have no clue, but it would be something that involves athletics.”
What are your hobbies? “Hobbies require free time and I have none.”
What is your favorite event ever attended? “Spending the 4th of July with friends on a beach.”
What is your favorite type of music? “Some vintage Billy Joel-who doesn’t love Piano Man? Other than that, some sort of hip-hop/rap. It is great to listen to music before a sporting event, because it really helps me get in the competitive mind set and pumps me up.”
What is your favorite thing to do on your phone? “I don’t really use my phone a lot, and I don’t have any games either. When I am on it, you can definitely catch me sending some quality snapchats to my friends. Or I will be watching some sort of YouTube tutorial on how math works, because I cannot figure that subject out.”
What three words describe you? “Athlete, Busy, Energetic”
What is your favorite trip ever taken? “Taking a family trip to visit an aunt and uncle who were living in Singapore. We also went to Thailand, Malaysia, and South Korea on that trip. There was amazing food everywhere we went, and I played a lot of tennis. We spent a couple days on a beach island loaded with wild monkeys right off the coast of Malaysia which was cool. The plane landing to get there was tricky because we had to practically brush up against a mountain wall on one side, and the ocean on the other to make the runway. It took the pilot more than one attempt to land the plane on the runway. It was pretty crazy looking out the window at a wall of mountain inches from the tip of the wing.”
There are too many foods to choose from, so the top of my list would be sushi, mango, homemade nachos, or some buffalo wings from Red’s.
Ichthyology. For a class I took just to fill an open spot, it was really interesting, even though the teacher is a meanie. (sarcasm there – Dan is awesome!)
I don’t have a favorite TV show, but my favorite movie series is the Bourne Trilogy starring Matt Damon. I’ve watched it too many times to count.
Roger Federer. He is majestic, and he makes everything in a tennis match look so fluid and easy. He makes it look effortless – like he’s not even working, but you know he is.
Chess – Proud member of the AHS Chess Club. (Thanks Mo!)
Literally any kind of Jelly Beans. Those don’t last a minute in my house.
Anything on Kewaunee Custard’s “flavor forecast”
That would have to be a tie between Christmas and having a gigantic feast at Thanksgiving.
Spring! Because it’s green, it warms up, and everything looks alive. Color comes back to the world and the gray filter that seems to be present in Wisconsin’s winters disappears.
Comments about Kole Kolinski: “Kole Kolinski is one of the best all-around athletes I have ever seen come through Ashwaubenon HS in the last 25 years,” commented Scott Conradt, Ashwaubenon Boys Tennis Coach. “When tennis season rolls around he gets his racquet out and after a week of warmups is back to playing at a state caliber level. This year he will look to become the only AHS player to ever make it to state 5 times. This will be Kole’s 4th year as a Varsity tennis player and we are looking to him for leadership with a very young team.”