Schaefer named boys tennis coach at MHS

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel

Tennis has surrounded Kalla Schaefer since she was a young child.

Schaefer’s father, Lyle, is a highly successful instructor who runs his own academy today.

Schaefer’s mother, Kris, has been a tennis teacher inside Middleton’s Recreation Department.

Still, Kalla wasn’t always sure tennis was for her. In fact, from the years of 4 to 14, she barely touched a racket.

“I had little interest,” Kalla said.

That changed dramatically. And now it appears Middleton High School will be the beneficiary.

Kalla Schaefer was named Middleton’s new boys tennis coach last week. Former coach Deke Bradley informed athletic director Bob Joers via a text message that he wouldn’t return when practice begins next month.

“I am interested in the opportunity to work with high level players on the tactical and mental components of the game,” said Schaefer, who has been an assistant coach in Middleton’s boys and girls’ programs the last two years. “A solid technical base and playing background needs to be there first in order to really get into the finer points of strategy and competition, and this team has that.”

Schaefer should know. Once she took to the sport of tennis, her game exploded in a hurry.

Schaefer, a 2006 graduate of Madison Memorial High School, was a two-time sectional champion with the Spartans. Schaefer was also a two-time MVP at Madison Memorial and reached the third round of the WIAA Division individual state tournament as a senior.

Schaefer played at UW-Whitewater, where she was an all-American and received a bid to nationals. Schaefer played for the highly-successful Frank Barnes at Whitewater, where she learned several lessons that have helped in her own coaching career.

“I had a great experience playing for Frank Barnes at UW-Whitewater,” Schaefer said. “Frank is an excellent example of an effective coach.

“He fostered an environment where the team was like a family and he was competitive was also making sure that the program was fun and players were engaged. I saw the importance of clear, timely communication and organization from him.”

Schaefer also learned a great deal from her father, Lyle.

“My dad was my tennis coach from the moment I told him I wanted to try out for the high school team,” Kalla said. “He mentored me through my playing years and through the tennis teaching business. He has been an invaluable resource for me.”

Today, Kalla is a teaching professional for the Lyle Schaefer Tennis Academy. She also helps with the junior team tennis league at the John Powless Tennis Center.

Schaefer knows Middleton typically fields a deep and talented lineup. And her goal will be to help the Cardinals remain one of the state’s elite programs.

“My goals for this season are for Middleton to win the Big Eight conference again this year and to make it back to team state,” Schaefer said. “My stretch goal is winning team state.

“Another goal is to get a couple of singles players and doubles teams into team state and get some players deep in the draw. Additionally, my goal is for every player to play at the highest level they are capable of playing at and to improve over the course of the season.”

 

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