Tennis courts are in session: After 17 years, Mike Marquardt gets to officially open the Worthington tennis courtsWORTHINGTON — The rain was not going to stop Worthington’s tennis coach Mike Marquardt from cutting the ribbon on a project he’s worked on for, according to Worthington officialis and ambassadors, nine years.
WORTHINGTON — The rain was not going to stop Worthington’s tennis coach Mike Marquardt from cutting the ribbon on a project he’s worked on for, according to Worthington officials and ambassadors, nine years.
“It’s been 17 years,” Marquardt said with a smile. “I came here in 1995 and we used the high school courts and then we used the four courts at Minnesota West.
“Because of the tiling system, we couldn’t use the courts at the high school, so I finally started to put the plan together.”
It would probably have taken a couple of lightning strikes to the giant scissors to stop Marquardt from officially cutting the ribbon on the Worthington tennis courts outside the Worthington Middle School, but even a few bolts may not have held him back.
“It has taken awhile, but it was well worth it,” Marquardt said. “A million dollar project is not going to happen over night.
“It got put on the backburner and that’s how life goes and you just keep going with it and we’re here now. When they finally started breaking ground it set in a little bit, but to see this, it feels like a battle that you finally won.”
Tuesday Marquardt was able to officially open a place not only WHS tennis, but any tennis enthusiast in the Worthington area can call home for years to come.
“It’s an avenue for the community,” Marquardt said. “It’s a small town, so they don’t have a lot of stuff to do and we all know that’s when you start thinking of the stuff you shouldn’t be doing.
“This gives people another thing to do. The community and the district really stepped up two levels to make this happen. With the economy the way it is, it’s kind of tough, but they still made it happen because they know it’s important for the kids.”
The Trojans certainly like to have a respectable place to call their home court.
“It’s fun to be the first team out here and call it home,” Dan Wetering, who plays No. 1 singles for WHS, said. “It’s a privilege.
“Teams come here to play us and they are looking at some pretty nice courts.”
The tennis courts represent more than just a place to play tennis, but also show what a community can do when coming together for a purpose.
“It’s a community asset that will be here long past all of us,” Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh said. “Every time I go to St. Paul they say you got to figure out ways to collaborate.
“If this isn’t collaboration nothing is.”
The rain stopped for just enough time for city officials and the Worthington tennis team to celebrate a victory without an opponent. The sun shined its rays on the tennis court, which await lights and a neighboring court in the coming weeks.
“It’s a beautiful day for tennis,” Marquardt said.
Considering the ups and downs of getting the tennis courts ready to go for future tennis players in the Worthington area, there probably isn’t any weather conditions Marquardt wouldn’t utter those words.
Daily Globe Sports Editor Chris Murphy may be reached at 376-7328.