Star Student

Tess Willis
Age: 18

I was born at Wilford Hall, Lackland AFB, in San Antonio, Texas. We moved to Boerne when I was 4 years old.

I’m currently a senior at Samuel V. Champion High School.

Favorite volunteer activities:
One of my favorite volunteer activities is helping my tennis coach, Glenn Barton, with the Sports Adventure Camps for the kids during the summer time. I love to work with the younger kids and enjoy teaching them how to play tennis, or new things like fishing, camping and other fun activities that Glenn has planned for adventure camp.

How did you get into playing tennis?:
My interest in tennis started when I was 5 years old. During that time, we were living in a rental home in Boerne while our house in Cordillera was being built. Next door to us we had a neighbor that played tennis and he would always go out in his backyard and practice his groundstrokes on the backboard that his dad built for him out of wood. I was highly curious about this tennis sport. I would spend a lot of time outside and I’d sit and watch him as he practiced hard for about an hour almost every day. A few years later, when I was 13 we were new members to the Clubhouse here at Cordillera, I had noticed there were five tennis courts at the Club. I was looking for a sport that I could stick with for many years to come and I felt like tennis was the perfect sport for me. I still remember it like it was yesterday–I had met Glenn Barton for the first time and he taught me all the basics of tennis:  point play, the strokes, foot work. Glenn even set up matches for me to play other people here at the ranch. I fell completely in love with the sport after the first lesson. I worked hard every day and soon I was playing competitive tennis and made it my goal to become a state ranked player.

Interests and Activities:
I enjoy drawing digital artwork on my computer, swimming, video gaming, ping pong, golf, and computer programming.  I am also on the Science Olympiad team at Champion. The team consists of 15 members and we compete in almost 30 different scientific and engineering categories against other Texas schools.

Awards and Accolades:
Academics: I have made honor roll in middle school, freshman, sophomore and junior year. Tennis: I have received two certificates of acknowledgment for being eligible to compete in the 16s and 18s USTA Super Championship Major Zones.  I also placed 3rd at districts this past spring of my junior year in High School tennis. My current goal is to win districts, regionals and even state this year in team tennis and tennis in the spring.  Science Olympiad: In the spring of my junior year I placed 1st in the regional competition for the elastic launch glider, our team won 1st in the competition and got to compete at state.

What college would you like to attend:
I am still compiling my lists of colleges I would like to attend. However, I would love to attend Texas Christian University, UT Austin or St. Mary’s University and play college tennis for these schools. I am also working to improve my state and national rank so I can qualify for a scholarship. It has been my goal and dream to play competitive tennis through college.

I would like to major in computer science. Computer programming has always been something I highly enjoy and would like to make it a career someday.

Favorite Cordillera Memories:
Of the many wonderful memories I have of Cordillera would be all the times my best friend Ellie and I have gone to the courts to practice, swim at the club, work out and even get “dolled up” and go to the club for dinner together. She has recently moved away to Dallas so all those memories are something I hold very dear to me. We used to sit and watch the sunset at the tennis courts, see who could run faster on the treadmill, swim laps in the pool and even carry on a full conversation while playing out a 5 minute long point in ping pong, as well on the courts playing tennis.

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