Causing a Racket

Dean Limosnero and the rest of the varsity won first place at the Hampshire H.S. Varsity Invite on March 21, 2019.

Anna Podbourny, Crown Writer and Photographer

The scuffle sounds on the court, the popping of a new canister of tennis balls, and the precision and focus that goes into the game of tennis. One doesn’t have to be a tennis aficionado to spot the talent of Dean Limosnero (12). With almost seven years of experience, Limosnero is no stranger to the court. He seems to move with speed and agility unparalleled by any other player. He’s been a model of fierce competition and enormous intuition for all of his teammates, while still being an excellent student and member of the community. Now, Limosnero is finishing up his high school tennis career with a final salute to the sport that he loves.

Limosnero has been playing tennis since sixth grade; not only does he enjoy the game, his passion for it thrives. “I’m not athletically focused but I play tennis because it allows me to exercise and I have fun doing it as well,” he says. Gina Jasovic, the coach of the Marian tennis teams, says that Dean’s time on the team has shown just how much he excels at the sport. “Dean has always been very determined to improve,” Jasovic says. “We lost a lot of seniors last year and we have a small team this spring but I truly enjoy coaching the boys.” With Limosnero as one of the senior leaders of the team, his improvement in the sport stems from his own self-determination and support of his coach and teammates. Limosnero not only brings a sense of achievement but also makes it enjoyable for his teammates. Max Striedl (12) has been playing tennis with Limosnero since they started their freshman year on the team together, with being given the opportunity during their sophomore year to play on a doubles team together. “Dean really brings a sense of humor to the sport. It’s a great experience,” Striedl says. The feeling of camaraderie seems to be present for all members of the team, and it’s no question that Limosnero, along with all the seniors, will be greatly missed.

There’s no shortage of examples of the friendship and support on the team. “I remember freshman year we were all just messing around,” Striedl says. “Dean had this idea to start playing tennis baseball, which was fun.” But Limosnero’s own memories of the sport go further back, to his earlier years of playing. Limosnero affectionately recalls a situation in seventh grade when he accidentally served a ball right into a girl’s face. “I was mortified,” he says. Fortunately, all was forgiven and Limosnero walked away having learned to control his racket. And another time, he was the victim of a stray serve, or rather his glasses were. “I’m surprised I didn’t break my nose that time. Maybe my glasses dissipated the energy,” he muses with a laugh.

Limosnero is a valued member of groups both on and off the court. He is also the co-captain of the Math Team and competes in Academic Challenge. Outside of Marian, he is a volunteer at the Crystal Lake public library, sorting and arranging books. It’s a wonder that with all these clubs and activities, he can still maintain steady grades. He says the key is time management. “I just write down in a planner or journal and make sure to schedule things around [tennis]. It gives some structure in order to accommodate my more spontaneous nature.” Limosnero admits that even with his planner system, he still has trouble with time management, but continues to encourage himself each day to do better. Just like with tennis, those skills can be improved and will carry on through the rest of his life.

After high school, Limosnero plans to be attending the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign to pursue a major in computer engineering. As for his tennis career, Limosnero says, “I don’t have plans to continue playing tennis. Maybe as an intramural, but not really anything professional or too serious.” However, his time on the team will remain with him well past the end of his tennis career.  While Limosnero may be saying farewell to the Marian courts, he will never forget the memories made there.