On the tennis court, sophomore Shantel Marentes makes winning look easy. She just started playing tennis and is already the number one singles player on Colton’s varsity tennis team.
However, none of her success has been easy.
“My family isn’t very supportive,” she shared. “We don’t have a relationship where we talk about very close things like what’s going on in our current life.”
So, Shantel finds her motivation in her teammates and her head coach, Omar Menjivar.
“Shantel is our go-getter,” Coach Omar said. “She is the one that from day one showed that ability of just absorbing the information that I have. When I speak to her I can see that she’s locked in. She enjoys the game and wants to improve as much as possible.”
Before tennis, Shantel played soccer in middle school. Sometimes she thinks about joining the high school soccer team, but doesn’t yet know if she should. She worries it might be too hard balancing both sports.
She chose to focus on tennis. With COVID happening, there was a lot of anxiety at home, so she decided it would be a great thing to get her mind on something new.
She joined the Colton Tennis team and found her niche as the team’s top player. This has come with hard work and grit. “I’ve faced many things, like trying to hit the ball and basic stuff that people have when playing a new sport. Also getting a serve took a couple months to get done.”
Sports are liberating for Shantel, offering freedom and acceptance. “I love playing sports,” she declared. “I love the feeling of winning. It feels great when you get your team a point.”
Even though she has a passion for sports, Shantel still plans on doing more than playing. She intends on going to college to become a registered nurse. She has considered continuing with tennis in college, but that will all depend on how tennis goes for her over the next two years.
At 15-years old, Shantel Marentes is a very good, dedicated student-athlete with big plans both on and off the court.