DALLAS — Right before districts of her sophomore year, Dallas High School senior Megan Johnston received the news from former head girls tennis coach Jordan Sollman that she would be competing in the singles matches.
“(Sollman) came up to me and was like, ‘I think I’m going to put you in singles for districts,’” Johnston said, recalling that day. “And I was like, ‘OK.’ I think I had played singles one time during that season and I lost. So, I was like, ‘I don’t know what you’re doing to me.’
Johnston went on to be the only singles player of the Dragons tennis team to make it through the first round.
From that moment on, she was a converted singles player, playing all of last year in singles matches as a junior, and was looking forward to improving in that area this year, her final season with the Dragons.
It was going to be different in a major way: Sollman was no longer head coach.
“It was going to be weird with Jordan (Sollman) not being there,” Johnston said. “I was wondering what was going to happen, because I was used to how he coached, but then I found out Addie (Gillette) was coaching, and me and Addie played together when she was a junior and I was a freshman, so we knew each other. I was excited. And she had played singles as well, so I knew we could work well together.”
She was also excited about playing with Luna Rudolph, a foreign exchange student.
“Our skill level was super close, and I was excited to just have someone to bounce my skill level off of,” Johnston said.
And then the season was canceled.
At first, Johnston thought that the tennis courts were open still.
“Then once I realized that the tennis courts closed, that one was hard, because I was like, ‘oh, tennis season is canceled, everything is shut down, I’ll just go play tennis all day,’” Johnston said. “And then I heard they were closed, so it was rough.”
She joined the tennis team her freshman year.
“I started enjoying it because I wasn’t bad at it, I mean I wasn’t good either, but I enjoyed getting better,” she said. “Freshman and sophomore year, I had a good group of friends on the team that were upperclassman and they really helped me enjoy it more.”
She was excited to do the same thing for her younger sister Adrian, who was on the team as a freshman.
“Yeah, it’s a bummer that we didn’t get to play together,” Johnston said. “We are super close.”
Johnston hopes that tennis is in her life for a long time, whether she joins a team or just plays for fun.
She plans to attend Chemeketa Community College in the fall for two years. After that?
“I have no idea what I want to do,” she said. “At all. No clue, and I don’t want to waste money going somewhere if I don’t know what I want to do yet.” Johnston is one of the valedictorians for DHS, and will be giving a speech to go with live-streamed graduation ceremony that begins on Friday at 6 p.m.