Created: March 23, 2020 10:33 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Around this time of year, tennis courts are filled with high school athletes preparing for upcoming matches. Instead, they're practicing their social distancing. La Cueva hall of fame tennis coach Dick Johnson came up with an idea to keep his team in touch without anyone having to leave their home.
"Frankly I was a little bored and wanted to have something to do and I looked at the ATP app on my phone and a lot of the kids have the ATP and WTA app with all the top players in the world and I said 'Hey, let's set up a fantasy tournament'," Johnson said.
It's a March Madness bracket challenge with tennis twist. The Bears have invited other schools around the state to participate. So far, almost a dozen schools from Albuquerque, Farmington, and Lovington have joined the fun.
From time to time the bears are getting outside in small doses. A tennis court is actually a perfect place for social distance. It's
72-feet long and 27-feet wide—plenty of room to run around.
As for Coach Johnson, he's found an activity that briefly gets him outside the house while maintaining a healthy social distance.
"I am in fact walking once a day. At least once a day or twice a day, trying to get my 30 minutes of exercise in avoiding crowds keeping that 6 foot social distance. Main thing is just communication. Keeping up with tennis and being safe and while we're talking I just want to tell everyone, all the athletes in our state of New Mexico, the coaches—please be healthy be smart and this is a serious thing. This is a bad deal, but we're gonna get over this let's stay positive and I love you all."
Coach Johnson's fantasy tennis tournament officially starts on Friday.
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