By Jacob Herbert
Clinton County Chatter
Signing day: we’ve heard it before. Thousands of high school athletes around the nation sign a letter of intent fulfilling their dream of playing at the university of their choice.
The Michigan State men’s tennis team recently signed its newest recruit. His name is Thomas Argersinger. He is from DeWitt and he’s just 6 years old.
Every day on the court, players compete with each other for the right to be crowned champion. But Argersinger is fighting his own battle, as the 6-year-old was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that can damage the lungs as well as the digestive system. With the help of the non-profit group Impact and the men’s tennis team, Argersinger will not have to fight this horrible disease alone.
Tennis Coach Gene Orlando said that his team, along with Impact, were pretty proactive in trying to get Argersinger involved with the team as soon as possible.
“This is the age where Thomas realizes he is different than everyone else,” said Orlando. “I didn’t want to wait to start this relationship.”
Since signing with the team, Argersinger meets with the tennis team once a week. He has received his own racquet and often plays a game with someone from the team.
Orlando said that Argersinger was very quiet at first, but that is something that is getting better with time. Argersinger has even been involved in the classic “Go Green, Go White” chants that take place at all sporting events the Spartans are involved in.
“He does better when it’s one on one,” said Orlando. “He is feeling more and more comfortable with the team as time goes on.”
Orlando said how important it is for him and his team to grow their relationship with Argersinger. Staying active is something that is good for the 6-year-olds health and becoming more and more involved with the tennis team is a good way to do so.
As for plans to grow their relationship with Argersinger, Orlando says the team plans to take him out to dinner one night at Pizza House in East Lansing. Pizza is his favorite food so it is only fitting. The team also plans to be there for Argersinger when he goes into the hospital.
“We’ll be there for him,” said Orlando. “We want to make him fee like he is a member of this team.”