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Howton to play tennis at Midland: Earns Gering tennis program’s first scholarship
June 25, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

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Photo by Anthony Brathwaite/Gering Citizen - Gering senior Carolyn Howton (now graduated) returns a volley during the recent season at a home dual against Alliance. Howton is the fledgling Gering tennis program’s first scholarship recipient. She will be playing tennis for Midland University in Fremont next fall.

Recent Gering graduate Carolyn Howton is the first member of the girls’ tennis team to be awarded an athletic scholarship for the fall semester. She will play for Coach Matt Randall at Midland University in Fremont.

“I started playing in club tennis in fourth grade,” she said. “A friend of mine who was moving up here brought me along and I got in involved with Matt Palomo’s club program.”
She said she liked the club program because it gave her the opportunity to play with older and different types of players, more than what she would see in high school. That helped her to improve her tennis skills at an early age.

He first two years of high school tennis were played at Commerce City, Colo., outside of Denver. After her sophomore year, the family moved to Gering where Carolyn played her last two years.

Carolyn described her senior year with Gering as a time of rebuilding. “My first year I was at No. 2 doubles with Marlee Lupher,” she said. “This year I was at No. 1 singles, which was a big change. I was seeing a lot of different and better competition.”
Although the team has struggled at times this past spring, Carolyn said she really liked how close she became with her teammates. “We talk at school and have classes together. The trips are a lot of fun because we know each other. And we help each other improve. When someone else is playing, we’re all watching.”
Last April, Coach Randall called Carolyn and asked if she would consider Midland. “At the time, I was looking at either Hastings or Doane,” she said. “I did some research and found out they have a strong nursing program. So when we were in Lincoln for state tennis, I visited the campus and really liked it. Everything else just fell into place.”

Carolyn will play both fall and spring for Midland. She will major in nursing and hopes to become an ER trauma nurse in the future.
“My goal is to improve more with the new team and enjoy the time there,” she said. “We travel a lot more, so I’ll see a wider variety of competition.”

Until the fall semester, Carolyn will be playing with two summer league teams and working part-time for Fresh Foods in Gering.
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