ST. CLOUD - This week for our All Star Student series we hit the Apollo High School tennis courts to meet with junior Sam Gerdes.

This is Sam’s first year of tennis. She joined the team looking for a fall-activity and after a friend recommended she join the team. Sam says it’s been a great way to meet other people.

"A lot of [the other players] are from other schools, so it's really nice to find new friends here."

Despite being a first year player, head tennis coach Jamie Hatlestad says Sam has already made a big impact on the team.

Dan DeBaun, WJON
Dan DeBaun, WJON

"She's been a real star on the team as far as great attitude, showing up for practice, working hard and being willing to play and do anything we ask of her."

Sam is no stranger to after-school activities. Throughout the year, she's involved in anything from athletics to helping freshman students at Apollo through Link Crew. Sam does all of this while getting high marks in all of her classes.

"In the winter I manage for wrestling, in the spring I have track and I'm also in Link Crew, so it's helping the freshmen adjust to high school and I'm also in orchestra."

Sam says her favorite subject is language arts. Her friends and coaches all gave her praise for her can-do attitude and positive impact everywhere she goes.

"She's been a good player, people want to play with her and she's improved a lot from the beginning of the year until now," Hatlestad says.

To nominate a student to be in the All Star Student of the Week series, email Dan DeBaun at

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