South Effingham High School

For Howell, Point University is a winner

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April 8, 2015

By Patrick Donahue

Usually, Kyle Howell’s stroke results in a winner. Last Wednesday, the South Effingham High School senior used the stroke of a pen, rather than that of his tennis racquet, for another victorious moment. Howell signed a letter of intent to attend and play tennis at Point University, capping what has been a strong senior season. “It’s been a day I’ve been looking forward to a long time, said Howell, who plans to study physical therapy at Point. “It’s been a goal of mine since I started playing. It’s definitely been a journey. I’ve enjoyed every second of it. Howell is the Mustangs’ top seed at singles, and he has compiled an 11-2 mark this season. For his career at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, he’s 61-11. He’s also been ranked in the top 100 in the state. “He’s not only a great player, said SEHS tennis coach Kristen Finlen, “but a great person as well. Howell recalled first picking up a racquet while in the sixth grade. It all started watching his father Brent Howell playing. “I was watching my dad play doubles with a group of men, the younger Howell said, “and they were having fun and laughing. I said, ‘I want to be part of that one day.’ Not long after that, the elder Howell began serving up tennis balls to his son. “I wouldn’t be here without my dad, Kyle said. “It means a lot. Howell also was drawn to Point’s foundation as a Christian-based school. The Skyhawks’ tennis coach, Chad Simpson, spoke about the spiritual aspects of tennis with Howell. “That meant a lot to me, Howell said. “That told me they had the right motives and that’s where I needed to be. Finlen lauded the kind of young man Howell is away from the court. “Kyle gives his best effort on everything, whether he’s on the court or in the classroom, she said. “Whenever you need anything, you can call him. He’s a wonderful young man. Point’s not only getting a great tennis player but a good character person as well. The Mustangs made the Class AAAA state tennis final four a year ago, losing to Marist in the semifinals. The Region 3-AAAAA tournament begins next week at Ware County High School, and Howell has aspirations of him and the Mustangs making another long postseason run. “That’s definitely our goal, he said. “It’s going to be tougher, having moved into a higher classification. But I’ve got a lot of belief in these guys.

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