Marmion senior Jackson Rettig balances several extra-curriculars with tennis. He has known no other way throughout his high school career, which is winding down with the onset of his final tennis season. The left-hander from Sugar Grove remains unsure whether he’ll compete in doubles or singles, but is eager to help steer the Cadets toward a fifth straight Suburban Christian Conference title just the same. For the latest edition of the Weekend chit-chat, Kane County Chronicle sports reporter Kevin Druley touched base with Rettig about the coming season, among other topics. The following is an edited transcript:
Every results fax coach [John Tsang] sends has ‘Jackson’, but I’ve also heard you go by ‘Jack’. Preference?
Whatever is fine. I used to be Jack in grade school, then in high school there’s another Jack so I went by Jackson, so no big deal.
How have early-season workouts gone?
We’re still trying to get started. We basically started this week, but because of the snow, we’ve been trying to get times in the field house at Marmion. We haven’t really started too much yet.
It’s the first full school year with the field house at your disposal. How has it been?
It’s been really nice. It’s given us more time, and when it’s snowy and bad whether there’s always some time in the field house. … They have a certain schedule for each sport, which is nice. The only bad thing is there’s only three courts, so we just divide it up for JV and varsity.
And it sounds like easy-in, easy-out net installation, right?
There’s just holes in the floor, so you carry the pots and the nets crank right in. It’s pretty easy.
Does the field house mean you leave training at the Vaughan Center behind?
Coach typically tries to save the times at the Vaughan Center for when it’s closer to sectionals and state. It’s more rainy then, and I think there are only certain times in the year you can use it.
Is it looking like doubles again for you, or is a switch to singles coming?
My doubles partners in the past, Will Graft and Chris Pattermann, both graduated, so I’m still trying to figure it out. I played some in the offseason, so am just going to see what happens. … In high school, being in doubles has basically been my forte. And being a lefty, it’s nice to have a right-handed partner.
What about being a lefty serves you well in tennis?
It’s really helpful with serving, and specially with me being tall, I’m 6-3, and then you get that lefty spin. We’re all accustomed to playing righties, and I can put that different spin on it. Then at the net, if the other players don’t realize I’m a lefty, that’s helpful. The shots they think they can get past me, I hit right back. ... With ground strokes, I can sometimes attack them a little more easily depending on what their weaknesses and my strengths are.
You’ve mentioned being active in other extracurriculars and service projects on top of athletics. How is your college search progressing?
A lot of the schools, I’m waiting until April 1 to hear back. My top choice is the [University of Southern California] right now, and their club [tennis] program is really successful. If I do go there, I’m going to try real hard to be part of their travel club.
How much are you following [big sister] Jordan and [the Washington University women’s] basketball team?
She’s in the [NCAA Division III] Sweet 16 this weekend [a Friday game at DePauw], so it’s been great. I’ve been watching her since the second grade, and all her tournaments and games, it’s been a fun part of my life, especially with the team doing so well.
Were your parents [Mark and Jeana] big prep or college athletes?
No, but they’ve been really nice and helpful giving us what we want and letting us try a lot of sports. I didn’t like T-ball, I didn’t like soccer, but tennis in third grade, I liked that. …. They never really pushed sports on us, they just let us find our niche.