Senior Joel Heil makes school history in tennis


Kate Lichter

Prepping to hit the tennis ball senior Joel Heil plays against an Ankeny Centennial opponent. The Dragons ended up losing Ankeny Centennial 4-7.

Making history, senior Joel Heil became the first boys singles tennis player to ever win a district championship May 12. “Winning districts is probably one of the happiest moments that I have had as a Johnston tennis player,” Heil said. “I got to show that all of my work has been worth it throughout my whole career and winning my biggest match to do so is just a huge relief.”

Joel has been playing tennis for around eight years now. Heil plays in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) tennis tournaments in the summer to get better and the work has paid off. Heil has a 17-7 record this season, and because he won districts, he will be part of the top eight players going to state.

State begins May 27 and Heil hopes to do well. “I will be playing matches with good players around the metro area and practicing with Shipp (boys’ varsity tennis coach) and Dado (gives Heil lessons at Aspen Athletic),” Heil said. “Everyone at state will be good so I will need to practice against good players to simulate what those matches will be like.”
Because he is a senior, Heil’s high school tennis career is coming to an end. “I am so glad that I played Johnston tennis and thankful for all of the memories that I have made with my teammates and coaches throughout the four years.”