Up Close With Justin Cole (Freshman From Fuquay, NC)

Banner Elk, NC--Join us as we meet another Lees-McRae Men's Tennis player up close.

1. What made you decide to come to Lees-McRae?

"To play tennis."

2. How long have you been playing tennis?

"I have been playing for about 5 years."

3. What are your personal goals for this season?

"I want to get better and improve on my game and also help the team to win matches."

4. What is your favorite tennis memory here at Lees-McRae so far?

"When I had to carry the bags for everyone on the first trip because I was late."

5. What is your favorite part of playing tennis here at Lees-McRae?

"The comradery with the team."

6. Who has been the most influential person on your athletic career?

"My current coach, Paul Goode."

7. If you weren't playing tennis, what other sport would you play?

"I would probably wrestle or play basketball because I did both those things in high school."

8. What is your favorite thing to do off the court?

"I like going out to parties with my friends."

9. What is your major and what do you plan to do with it?

"My major is Physical Education and I want to be a high school coach."

10. If you could travel back in time to any point in history, where would you go?

"I would go back to when tennis players still used wooden rackets and play them with the racket I have today and be the best tennis player in the world."

11. What is your favorite band?

"Bon Jovi."

12. If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?

"I would probably go to Japan because I have family there."

Justin's Story …

Justin Cole is a Freshman from Fuquay Varina, NC. The son of Everett and Tomoko Cole, Justin attended and graduated from Harnett Central High School where he wrestled, and tennis during the entirety of the four years he attended. Justin excelled in tennis and was recruited by several colleges, both Division I and II during high school. He was convinced that Lees-McRae was the best school and the right team for him during the time he spent on campus trips and with Coach Goode.

Cole cites Paul Goode's coaching style and the team dynamic as the key factor in his choosing Lees-McRae College as the place where he would continue his academic and tennis career. However, there is much more behind Justin's journey to Banner Elk than a few recruit trips. In fact, Justin wasn't completely confident about his ability to play in college and he says that it was the partnership and encouragement he received from a teammate that pushed him to pursue this dream. Dylan Knox, Cole's hitting partner and teammate in high school, was recruited by and now plays for North Carolina Wesleyan and Justin says he was "the main reason I was able to pursue tennis in college." They made a good team and this connection allowed them both to play extremely well and earn the credibility and college team status they retain today. In fact, Cole and his partner Knox were the only 2 players from their high school's tennis team to sign and play with a college in over 10 years. This accomplishment is great by itself, but even more impressive is the attribution given by Cole to his teammate and friend for helping to attain his goal. This idea of team comradery has stayed with Justin into college. Justin says that his favorite part of playing tennis at Lees-McRae is the friendship and encouragement he finds in the team and he feels that this will take them a long way.