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Anonymous benefactor donates rackets to Bay View girls’ tennis team

October 10, 2013

In the Milwaukee Publicbayviewdonation
Schools, Rufus King has
had the championship girls’
tennis team for many years,
winning the city championship
every year since before
many of the current players
were even born. They were
the subject of a feature in
the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
last month, earning welldeserved
praise.
Because Bay View English
teacher Michael Schinner
coached the last team to beat
King, in 1996, he was also
quoted in the story, talking
about how King’s program
compared to the teams he
fields at Bay View:
“I appreciate that they are
the first ones to acknowledge
that they are playing
with a stacked deck when it
comes to competing in the
City Conference,” Bay View
coach Mike Schinner said.
“It has been a number of
years since I have coached
a tennis player at Bay View
who owned her own tennis
racquet. It is a bit intimidating
when the King girls pull
out a $180 Babolat racquet
out of their Babolat tennis
bag that they own and my
Bay View player is playing
with a beat up racquet that
her coach takes out of his
car’s trunk.
“They also don’t deal with
the high student turnover
that other city schools deal
with. They often have the
luxury of working with their
athletes for four years. It is
rare that I coach a girl for
two years. The girl who was
my No. 1 singles player and
team captain last year, and
I was counting on this year,
moved to Atlanta last spring.
That is tough for me to overcome,
but even if that happens
at King they have other
capable experienced players
to replace a girl who transfers;
most of the other city
schools do not.”
A few days after that story
appeared, though, Mr. Schinner
was called down to the
front door of the school,
where he was presented with
a box–a box of four highquality
Babolat tennis racquets
in Babolat tennis bags.
It turns out an anonymous
donor–reports say it was
a woman, but she did not
leave her name–had read the
story of King’s tennis team
and had been moved by Mr.
Schinner’s description of the
challenges he faces as a tennis
coach at Bay View. There
was a card inside the box,
which read in part,
Dear Mike,
I read the Sept. 25 Milwaukee
J.S. article where you were quoted.
It brought a lump to my throat.
I hope you can find some players
who can use these racquets. They
are used but in pretty good condition.
… Good luck on the courts!
Mr. Schinner was stunned
to find the gift. “We no longer
go into battle outgunned
and under-equipped,” Mr.
Schinner says. “My players
would never have the opportunity
to use a racquet of this
quality without this generous
donation.”