By Brandon Bush
One of Georgia College’s most dominant tennis players is heading into his final year with a desire to finish his career strong.
Senior Yannick Hass a native of Troisdorf, Germany, has begun his final season as a Bobcat and is looking to finish his prestigious career on a high note. The All-American athlete joined the team in the 2012-13 season and has led the team ever since.
Hass’ development into the player he is now began in his childhood.
“My dad is a tennis coach, so I didn’t really have a choice,” Hass said. “As soon as I started walking, I picked up a racket. I played some soccer on the side, but tennis was always my first choice.”
Hass came to GC after being approached by former Bobcat tennis player and fellow German Alex Schubert. During Hass’ search for a collegiate team, Schubert emailed him and said the Bobcats needed an extra man.
Like many other European countries, Germany doesn’t have high school sports, forcing athletes to join club teams. Throughout high school, Haas had to balance the separation between school and sport.
“It’s tough when you’re trying to play at a high level,” Hass said. “It’s hard because school is longer back home. You go to school from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then practice after you study. You can focus on both things here because it’s integrated.”
Hass prefers the atmosphere of playing tennis in the United States than in Germany because “there’s more going on.”
“In Germany, they focus on the match itself, and it’s really quiet,” Haas said. “But in America, it’s louder, and they emphasize teamwork. I like having people pushing me.”
With the end of his career drawing near, Hass has decided not to pursue a career in tennis, as Division II tennis athletes have a small chance of reaching the professional level.
However, Hass said he’s “not complaining” about his success and has decided to further his education by attending graduate school after graduating with an economics degree.
“This [season] is probably it, so I’m going to make it count. I definitely think we can go to Nationals.”
Hass is confident in his team making it to the playoffs.
“This is the best team since I’ve been here,” Hass said. “We know how the other teams are now so we can adjust. We know what to focus on.”