When some people take on a leadership role, they do the minimal amount to get by, others rise to the occasion and try to make everyone around them better. Junior Business Major Alex Makos is the latter type.
With the funding running low for the tennis team Makos decided the team should use the resources around them to help get the equipment needed to take them to the next level, a speed and agilities ladder.
The resources being utilized would be the players themselves, the members of both the men’s and women’s tennis teams all have had experience as coaches, so it was only natural that the group put their talent to work to help raise money.
With the basic idea of putting on a general clinic down Makos decided to reach out to the president of the University to see if he had any interest in learning to play tennis. Makos said, “I actually have a pretty good relationship with Dr. Leahy, and I said to him because I knew he played golf, I said to him, ‘hey do you want to learn how to play tennis,’ and he said, ‘of course.’”
It turned out Dr. Pat Leahy was no slouch when it came to playing tennis, Makos went on to praise his skills and further explain, “I arranged it with him and he came and played and he was extremely good.”
During the whole clinic process Makos would take on a more watching and directing role, helping to split up the around 35 participants into three courts, based on skill level from beginner, intermediate and advanced courts and helping where needed. One of the participants of the clinic who actually was on the same court as Dr. Leahy had a little more to say about the president.
Sophomore Business Administration Major Olumbe Falae said that the president may have been sandbagging his approach to the game, “He was acting that he was an old man, and then when the game on he was just out there killing it.”
Falae said that, ”He even beat the actual Wilkes Tennis players.”
Makos had more praise for the president’s involvement and skill level and talked about how he had a tremendous natural athletic ability, ”His hand eye-coordination is very good. He was having fun, it was great.”
Makos was also impressed with his competitive attitude but patience for learning the game as he was going along. “The best thing I remember was one time the ball was long by just a little bit and he went up to the net and just hit his racket off net was like ‘I’ll get it next time.’ He had a great attitude, he was into it, it was awesome.”
At the end of the day the tennis teams raised enough money for their goal and will be getting their much-needed speed and agility ladder, they even raised enough money to have a minor surplus to purchase some other small necessities. Makos talked about the process saying, “I’m in the process now to pick one out, and we’re going to be able to get some other things on the side too, like some strings for the racket.”
With monetary situation taken care of the team has now turned their focus to their remaining schedule, the team is currently undefeated in conference play, they are currently on a winning streak that, in which they have posted six consecutive shutouts.
The team is on pace to win it’s sixth consecutive Freedom conference title, with that in sight Makos talked about his goal for the remaining portion of the season. “My goal for this year is to win the conference again, and I would like to do something at the national level, last year and the year before we lost the first round, I’d like to stick around another day.”
After the disappoint of going home early last year Makos has a dream that he would like to achieve, “Just get through the first round and keep on progressing, and then hopefully, I dream about it, a national championship.”
With an optimistic outlook Makos tries to keep his hopes somewhat grounded when dreaming about the national championship stating, “I don’t know if that’s in my time here.”
While the national title for tennis is regarded to just a dream right now Makos has a much more tangible form of national recognition in his grasp currently.
Makos has reached a mayoral status over at the field house for his work at the weight room, and it seems all the work has paid off in a form of recognition that goes far beyond Wilkes University, but still Makos has stated, “I know a lot of the guys from lifting. I like to volunteer in the weight room my time and I go in there all the time so I know all the wrestlers, the football players, I know them all very well.”
But all the time spent in the weight room has paid off in a big way. Makos has been named an All-American and given the National Strength and Conditioning Award. Makos spoke about the nomination saying, “I was actually the first tennis player to get it, and I was nominated by Coach Keith, and some other people and I’m the first tennis player to ever get it. “
With such an honor comes a few perks, one of which is as Makos describes it immortality, “I get a nice plaque and certificate, and my name actually goes on the weight room wall. I call it the wall of immortality.”
Makos went on to joke about it saying, “I don’t think everybody else calls it that, I hope it picks up.”
In the future Makos has a few plans for the tennis team like continuing their conference dynasty run, he wanted to stress the great leadership and guidance he’s received from the head coach of the tennis teams Chris Leicht.
He stressed the coach’s greatness on and off the court saying, “He’s been here for I think like 10 years and the girls are chasing their eighth conference I think, eighth or seventh, they are doing phenomenal, just as well as the guys and his attitude is great, not only for tennis but academics.”
Makos spoke about how Leicht is a man of strong academic integrity saying, “He’s great academically, he’s always honest, you know making sure you talk to your teachers get your homework done and he even puts it above tennis which is wonderful.”
Even with the intensity and high level of competition Makos is known to bring to the court he would like one thing to stand above all else when people watch his play style. That would be, “I was taught when I was little is that, it’s a gentleman’s sport, you have to be respectful of your opponent.”
While keeping that idea in mind Makos and the rest of the men’s tennis team are gearing up for their run at their sixth consecutive title run, and if Makos has his way possibly more.