Tennis camp coming to Clay Middle School

Steve Sturgis

Steve Sturgis

By Desiree Williams

When Steve Sturgis began playing tennis as a change of pace from his other sports, he had no idea it would become such a big part of his life.

“I happened to be really good at tennis compared to these other sports,” he said. “It was at one point just something to do in the offseason, but it became my primary focus.”

Sturgis eventually played varsity tennis for Fishers High School and Hamilton Southeastern High School. He took a break from sports while he attended the University of Dayton, but he returned to tennis — as a coach — when he landed a teaching job at Clay Middle School in 2012.

“I was lucky enough to get a job back here close to home, and they had a tennis coaching position open,” Sturgis said. “It was kind of my foot in the door with my teaching job, actually, and ever since then I’ve been teaching sixth-grade science at Clay Middle and coaching tennis.”

Sturgis partners with former Clay Middle School girls tennis coach Beth Zilligen to lead summer camps for four age groups. Rising Stars ( ages 5 and 6) and Aces (7 and 8) learn the basics of holding the racket and making contact with the ball. Young Strikers (8 to 10) get an extra 30 minutes to practice match play. Middle School Camp (11 to 14) teaches strategy and fundamentals of competitive play.

“The goal of the camp is just to get the kids excited about a new sport that they have maybe not played,” Sturgis said. “If the kids ever have downtime during the summer and they’re wondering what they could go do, maybe tennis will seep into their brain and that might be something they could go do.”

The camp runs from June 13 to 16 and June 19 to 22. Times vary based on age. Registration fees range from $20 to $120 depending on age and the number of days kids attend.

For the registration form and more information, visit




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