Nicolet National Bank Senior Spotlight: Elijah Zifferblatt – West De Pere boys’ tennis
By Murray Gleffe
Name: Elijah Zifferblatt
Nicknames: Ziff, E
Activity: Boys’ tennis
Elijah Zifferblatt is a three-time state qualifier for the West De Pere boys’ tennis team.
For his final season in a Phantoms uniform, he was awarded the No. 2 seed at the 2021 WIAA State Individual Tennis Tournament June 17-19 at the John and Fay Menard YMCA Tennis Center in Eau Claire.
Talk about your goals in your final state tournament.
“I want to enjoy competing and represent West De Pere by playing the best tennis I can.”
Your younger brother Zeb is also a good player.
“Zeb is dedicated and is going to play a crucial role on our team this year with many of our seniors leaving. He has lots of potential, and I’m looking forward to him having success moving along.”
What’s it like playing for Head Coach Bobby Hagenow?
“It’s been an amazing experience. He’s been a great role model and friend to me. He helps bring the best out of my play and pushes me to be competitive.”
What’s your most embarrassing tennis moment?
“When I lost track of the score in a close match during my freshman year. I didn’t realize I won until Bobby came out and said, ‘You won.’”
How did you balance participating in sports and a heavy course load at West De Pere?
“It was difficult at times. I tried to stay dedicated and disciplined to my passion and realized I wasn’t going to have lots of downtime. Sometimes, you need to work through fatigue.”
How many times does somebody spell your last name correctly?
“Very few times.”
What’s your most memorable tennis moment?
“My freshman year when I was unseeded at the state tournament. I was in my second round, and I played a higher seed from Neenah. It was on the main court, and I had the Neenah team rooting against me every point. I managed to win the match in straight sets. It was an amazing atmosphere and a great feeling to win.”
An amusement park or a walk on the beach?
“A walk on the beach.”
Favorite thing to do in Green Bay?
“Go to a Packers game.”
What’s something about you most people don’t know?
“I’ve played piano for 14 years.”
What are your college aspirations?
“I want to play Division I tennis and continue to develop my game and see where it takes me. I also want to learn about sports medicine while attending school.”
What’s one thing, if you were in control, you would change about living in the present?
“The negativity in our society. I want everyone to support one another instead of always doubting and not believing in everyone’s capabilities.”
What’s your leadership style?
“Being focused on the present. I’m a positive person. Focus on what you’re doing well instead of what you’re not doing well.”
What are your hobbies?
“Working out, boating and traveling.”
Country, pop or rap music?
What five words describe you?
“Discipline, dedication, accountability, positive, diligent.”
Wimbledon or the US Open?
“The US Open because of the crowd and atmosphere.”
Who’s your favorite tennis player?
What other sport could you have excelled in?
If you could board a plane tomorrow and go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Summer or fall?
Class: Physical education
Foods: Fruit, chicken
Movie: “Fast & Furious” series
Sports editor’s note: To read a senior spotlight on Bay Port’s Ava Murphy, CLICK HERE.