EDWARDSVILLE - A unique aspect of the Edwardsville Futures Tennis Tournament each year is the “ball kids.”

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Edwardsville Futures Tennis Director Dave Lipe said he was again very impressed with how the ball kids conducted themselves. He said he heard many compliments from players and fans alike this year about the ball kids.

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“Several of the players talked to me about how special it was we have the ball kids and how good they are on the court,” Lipe said. “Being a ball kid is not easy. It is physically demanding and you have to be focused.”

Schaefer Bates, who qualified for the IHSA Class 2A state tourney in doubles and was first-team All-Southwestern Conference, returned as one of the leaders of the ball kids this year and did “a phenomenal job,” Lipe said. Jesse Hattrup, another rising star for Tigers tennis, was another leader of the ball kids.

Bates and Lipe both said being a ball kid is something the participants will never forget in their lifetimes and is very appreciated by nearly all the Futures players.

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