Athlete Spotlight: Erin Upham talks tennis and softball


Photo by Lifetouch

Senior Erin Upham has been on the tennis and softball teams at WEGO for four years.

By Fatima Villafuerte, Reporter

What sports are you involved in?

I am involved in tennis and softball.

How long have you been playing tennis and softball?

I’ve played softball ever since I was probably five. I started playing tennis my freshman year, and I’d never played before until that.

What do you like the most about tennis and softball?

Well, I like how they’re both different. And I like the atmosphere with the people. And it just gives me something to do in my spare time. Tennis and softball, they are very different, yet still I struggle transitioning in between seasons. And it is very interesting because the swings are different, but I really like the teams and the people.

Alexia Ettore, Montse Tapia, Erin Upham, Anelise Velasco and Ema Tomasevic on Senior Night 2022. (Photo by Lifetouch)

Who inspired you to join softball and tennis?

Well, quick story: my freshman year, I had a friend who was already a sophomore and I was a freshman. She [thought] we should play a sport together that would be really fun, and we’re just like “How about tennis?” because we’d never played it before. So, my freshman year, I went out for tennis and she went out for tennis. So I guess my friend Brooklyn, she inspired me to play tennis.

For softball, I mean, I was just kind of put into t-ball by my dad. I really liked the sport and I stuck by it, I guess.

What is your most memorable experience in softball and tennis?

For softball, my very last travel game, I had the winning run – and it was a walk-off game – I had the winning run, and I had to slide into home. After that, it was very real that my travel season was coming to a close because I’m gonna go to college soon. So that was pretty fun.

For tennis, last year at our conference game, my doubles partner and I, we were playing against, I think, West Aurora, and we both were just in the game. We both had to pick each other up and recuperate ourselves – focus – and get the match over and try our best. That was our last game together as a doubles partner, or doubles team. It was pretty fun.

Upham high fives her teammates at the girls’ Varsity softball game on May 13, 2021. (Photo by Lifetouch)

Who is your biggest supporter?

Definitely my parents. But my mom, she goes to almost all my tennis matches, softball games… For example, yesterday she brought me Starbucks at my tennis match; I had an away game. She’s always there, she always tells me to think of the path and try my best at my matches. And she’s always there to cheer for me at the game or match.

Anything you would like to say to your coaches and/or teammates?

I would really like to thank my coaches for always pushing me to do my best, and even when I’m having a bad practice, to still try to make me do my best and not take everything very, very seriously. And always having a funny side. I just thank them for not making me want to quit the team and sport.