Monday, August 30, 2010

JILL HETHERINGTON : Streetsville Secondary School ALUMNI

WHEREVER, JILL HETHERINGTON is tonight…she still adorns the athletic wall at Streetsville Secondary School in the City of Mississauga. Streetsville was once, the "City within a City", but we'll leave that for another day. And a school that should remember her…doesn't have a clue~

Jill, now head coach of the Washington Huskies tennis team…had an illustrious tennis career (for a Canadian) gathering 14 pro doubles titles. Doubles play was her forte. Jill became the first Canadian player to reach the semifinals and finals in Grand-Slam tournaments, the semi-finals at Wimbledon, and the 1988 final of the US Open. These were some of the highlights of her tennis career, certainly not the whole story.

The Huttonville girl's potential gift for tennis was first spotted by a tennis coach at Brampton Tennis Club where Jill's family had gone to play family…badminton.

Extraordinary hand-eye co-ordination. Speed. Enthusiasm. And soon she was attending high school, but was allowed to cut classes to bus it down to Cobblestone Courts for specialized tennis instruction.

There was some loudmouthed guy at Streetsville who once challenged Jill to a tennis match…stating he could beat her. So why wouldn't she prove to everyone that she could beat him, if, she was so good, etc. Blah, blah, blah…

Of course, he could only win in such an arrangement. All the pressure would be on Jill.

However, Jill's coach soon "fixed" that guy.

Her coach told him that Jill would indeed play, but for money. $1000!!

So Jill's coach would put up Jill's $1000, and the challenger would put up a matching grand, with winner taking all!

Suddenly, Captain Tennis wasn't so keen on the arranged tennis match! He backed right down, and out.

My connection to Jill came because I used to weightlift with her brother, Phil.

Jill became the first person any of us knew who actually owned a Sony Walkman at the time. I listened to Phil Collins on that marvel and couldn't believe the excellent sound quality! I had asked Jill to pose as my girlfriend once to save me from the affections of a rogue female who lived next door to me at the time. So we struck a bargain.

I never followed through on my end.

Jill, I'm sorry I didn't take you to the Dominion Dance as promised.

It's been a few years…but I'm going to go out on a limb here…all is forgiven, right?

Right? Hello…?

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