Tom Henley Shlelter 1125 May 21

Senior Emma Kimbrel is a tennis player at Ponca City High School. She competed in doubles in her first three seasons and switched to singles in her senior season before a season-ending injury. Now, Kimbrel is coaching the eighth grade team and has a mentor helping her through her first coaching experience.

“I really enjoy it because later on I want to become a coach, so it’s a good experience for me,” Kimbrel said. “It’s fun to help them and see the spark light up in their eyes. Seeing the kids become passionate about tennis makes me want to push myself more.”

“Coach Collenback has been absolutely amazing to me this year,” she continued. “She’s invited me to watch her private lessons to see how she coaches and allowed me to take over the eighth graders to give me experience before college.”

Outside of athletics, Kimbrel is involved in NHS and student government. Upon graduation, Kimbrel plans to attend Bethel College in Winfield, Kansas, to play tennis.

“It’s a small college, and it’s perfect for what I need,” Kimbrel said. “I will do whatever it takes to make sure my parents won’t struggle. I’m thankful that I have several scholarships to help my parents out.”

While at Bethel, she plans to major in biology with an emphasis in secondary education to eventually become a high school biology teacher.

“I had a biology teacher, Mr. Scott, who taught us the way I enjoy being taught,” Kimbrel said. “Through hands-on learning and repetition, which really stuck with me, and I enjoyed it.”

In her spare time, Kimbrel volunteers with her mother at the Salvation Army. The two of them have donated Christmas gifts every year since Kimbrel was in seventh grade.

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