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Nicolet National Bank Senior Spotlight: Stefen Graf


De Pere High School, tennis

Parents’ names: Zachary and Jana Graf

Siblings: Tyler and Lillianna Graf

Social media accounts: Snapchat

Position or events: #1 Singles

Career highlight: Winning state for USTA Team Tennis

At what age did you start playing tennis?

Five years old

Who introduced you to the sport?

My mom

Have you ever played any other sports? If so, has tennis always been your favorite?

I tried other sports, but tennis has always been my favorite. I’ve always excelled at it.

How has balancing academics and athletics been different for you from your freshman year to your senior year?

Academics have always come easily to me. I play all year round even though boys’ season is only in the spring. My junior and senior year taking AP courses has been the only challenging part. Otherwise, the balance has never been difficult.

What is your favorite part about the sport?

I’ve had great mentorship from some of the pros and coaches I’ve worked with. They’ve become lifelong friends. The social aspect is also a bonus.

What about tennis has caused you to stick with it for this long? 

It gives me a sense of success. I’ve put years of time and effort into practice and improvement. It’s something I know I’m good at.

Is there a professional athlete you look up to?

Andre Agassi, I really liked his book.

What would you say is your biggest tennis weapon?

My backhand, which is uncommon. Usually players have stronger forehands. I’m also able to shrug off mistakes and losses easily.

What has been your most memorable experience in high school sports so far?

Having my older brother Tyler, play on the team my freshman year and his senior year, was a highlight.

How does it feel as a senior, to look back throughout high school and see your growth (as a person and athlete)?

It was a lot of hard work. It paid off.

Do you have any pre-match rituals/routines/superstitions?

Actually, no.

Do you take any extra steps to prepare for a big match, outside of regular practices?

I make sure I’m well fueled. We play an incredible amount during season, so I don’t take extra lessons during that time.

Any memorable coaches or teammates you’d like to give a shout out to?

Coach Scott Harpt, Stuart Nett and Bobby Hagenow

Any hobbies outside of sports?

Video games, spending time with family

Favorite song?

“Stick Season” by Noah Kahan.

Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade or water?


Future Plans? (college, major, career, etc.)

I plan to attend St. Norbert College this fall.

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