Sophomore Earns National Champ Title

Leslie Trejo

His heart pounds as he rushes through the hallway, palms sweating, knees trembling, feeling the sudden lack of air. All he can think about is the colossal number of kids he has competed with and prevailed. This is what he’s been preparing for in the last three years, and in one short game all his practice and hard work could be taken away.

Jon Lanford was ranked the number one racquetball player in the 14-and under division for the nation. He has competed with kids from across the country.

“I’ve been playing for 3 1/2 years,” Lanford said.  “I started playing with my dad when we lived in Arkansas.”

He enters the court, grasps the racquet firmly and serves the ball. As it returns back, his hands tremble, his arm shakes, he visualizes where it is going to hit and “BAM” he hits the ball with a tremendous whack.

The Metroplex  gym is filled with family and friends all there to support their young players, their minds and hearts racing with excitement.

The ball travels back and forth, from player to player once, then twice, and so on. Lanford yet has one last point to score until he wins. The crowd is silent he bounces the ball preparing to serve. He turns over and sees his father, his father remembering back to his college years when he used to play.

He serves the ball and as fast as the game starts, it ends. The game is final. No mistakes are made, the winner is declared.

“The winner and the new 14-and under champion in the nation is Jon Lanford!” the announcer says.