After completing 1 mission, Fuchs returns to SVU to finish another

Elizabeth Fuchs
Courtesy of Elizabeth Fuchs
Elizabeth Fuchs, who graduated from Southern Virginia University in May, will attend Boston University in the fall to work toward earning her master’s degree.

Elizabeth Fuchs had an atypical experience as a student-athlete at Southern Virginia University. The Los Altos native took two years off from school and the tennis team to go on a mission for her church, and then her senior season was cut short due to the global pandemic.

Burdick’s college tennis career doesn’t end the way she hoped

Carina Burdick
Courtesy of Carina Burdick
Carina Burdick prepares to hit a shot during a Villanova tennis match. The Wildcats didn’t win a match her freshman year, but they were off to a 7-1 start this season.

Since the state’s shelter-in-place order began in March, scores of events have been postponed, canceled or significantly altered.

For Los Altos High alumna Carina Burdick, those events include milestones such as completing her senior season on the Villanova University women’s tennis team and attending her college graduation ceremony this spring.

LAHS grad Shine headed to USTA-NorCal Hall of Fame

Town Crier Report

A Los Altos High School graduate and Mountain View resident is set to receive a second hall of fame induction for his success as a high school tennis coach, but he’ll have to wait longer than expected.

Bill Shine – the boys and girls tennis coach at Menlo School – was slated to be inducted into the USTA-NorCal Hall of Fame Friday, but the event was recently postponed until Oct. 23, according to Menlo sports information director Pam McKenney, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Two years ago, Shine was inducted into the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame.

“This is quite an honor to be selected into the USTA NorCal Tennis Hall of Fame,” Shine said in a press release issued by the school. “To be able to play and coach nearly my whole life in Northern California is a dream come true.”

After taking over Menlo’s varsity tennis teams in 1996, Shine has led the Knights to a combined 25 Central Coast Section titles and 20 California Interscholastic Federation NorCal championships.

Shine has an overall coaching record of 1,074-154. His girls and boys teams both hold state records for consecutive league dual-match victories. His teams have never lost a league match.

The Menlo girls wrapped up their 26th straight league title last fall and also won CCS and NorCal crowns. The boys entered the spring season, cut short after three matches due to the coronavirus pandemic, having won 23 league championships in a row.

Before his successful run at Menlo, Shine coached the boys and girls teams at Pinewood School for 15 years. Prior to that, he spent a season coaching the boys team at Los Altos High; the Eagles went 19-3 that year.

Shine received several accolades during his playing career as well. As a junior player, he earned a top-10 ranking every year from 1962 to 1973. At Los Altos, he was named team MVP all four years and twice reached the Central Coast Section singles finals. He was also part of the CCS champion doubles team in 1971. Shine then played for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he garnered All-Sun Belt Conference First Team honors twice (1976 and 1977).

“I owe this to a lot of people, like Dick Gould (former Stanford University men’s coach), who along the way helped me become the coach I am today,” Shine said.

Gould is scheduled to present Shine at the induction ceremony, set to take place at the Peninsula Golf and Country Club in San Mateo.

Los Altos teen set to graduate from Nadal’s tennis academy

John Rado
Courtesy of John Rado
Los Altos native John Rado, who has been attending Rafael Nadal’s tennis academy in Spain, is committed to Skidmore College in New York, where he will continue his tennis career.

By Navya Singhai
Town Crier Editorial Intern

Some tennis fans are excited just to watch Rafael Nadal play the sport he has dominated for more than a decade, and many of those who meet him are starstruck. So just imagine how Los Altos native John Rado feels – he attends Nadal’s tennis academy in Spain.

“I’ve seen him at the spa sometimes, and I just said, ‘Hi,’ to him,” Rado said of meeting his idol. “The other time was during graduation. I was with my friends who actually hit with him and (Nadal) knew their names, and so we went up and I introduced myself and then we took a picture.”

Rado enrolled in the Rafa Nadal Academy more than a year ago, leaving Mountain View High after the first semester of his junior year. He originally planned to return to Mountain View for his senior year, but said he loved the academy so much that he decided to graduate from the international high school there.

Rado also spent the summer of 2018 at the academy, based in Nadal’s hometown of Manacor on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Rado is glad he returned.

“It was a whole new experience for me,” he said. “(Now I get) to hang out with my friends all the time, and the tennis is really good. Everything, just everything, is good.”

Taking classes at the academy’s international school allows Rado to cater to his athletic interests while ensuring he meets the requirements to attend college in the United States. He has already committed to Skidmore College in New York, where he intends to continue his tennis career.

“I knew I wanted to play tennis in college,” said Rado, currently taking classes in anatomy, sport science, U.S. history, statistics, psychology and Spanish, “and the best ones are in America.”

Although most people at the academy speak English, Rado is trying to fully immerse himself in the Spanish language.

“I did two years of Spanish (at Mountain View) and I kind of knew it,” he said, “but now I can actually hold a conversation.”

Along with the changes in school and language, Rado had to adjust to being away from his family, friends and home. He didn’t see his parents his first semester at the academy.

“Honestly, it was pretty tough, because I got there in January and went home at the end of June,” Rado said. “I wouldn’t say I got super homesick, but I definitely wanted to go home and missed home. It was cool because I got a clean college experience, I guess.”

Life at the academy shares many similarities with college dorm life, such as having a roommate. Also like most colleges, the academy has a cafeteria, laundry room, library, pools and gyms. Such amenities mean Rado can dedicate more time to training and studying.

“It’s pretty easy,” Rado said of the academy’s conveniences, “all you have to do is tennis and everything else should fall into place.”

Although it isn’t all he does, tennis takes up a large chunk of his day. Five days per week, he’s on the court nearly three hours and puts in more than an hour of conditioning work as well. He trains with several coaches, including former pro players and some who have coached pros. They include Toni Nadal, Rafael Nadal’s uncle and former coach.

“We’re in Spain, so they have a different training method and it’s pretty cool,” Rado said. “I get good training from all the people at this academy – like I had Toni Nadal come down on the court and coach me,” Rado said. “We’re always out training, and they’re giving us good tips and feedback.”

When Rado isn’t playing or studying, he finds time to travel. He’s visited several parts of Spain, along with Switzerland, Germany and Portugal.

“The academy is separate from actual (mainland) Spain, but sometimes I go out for the weekend and I’m able to spend the night at a friend’s house,” Rado said. “So I go to the other side of the island and I get to experience the Spanish lifestyle. Everything is so much later here – they eat lunch at 2 or 3 p.m. and dinner at 9 or 10 p.m.”

Rado must watch what and how much he eats, he said, as the players at the academy all check in with a nutritionist about their body fat and the like. However, Rado added that he still gets to enjoy a variety of cuisines, from American burgers to Spanish paella.

While he gets a taste of home in the cafeteria, Rado said he misses the freedom of driving his car whenever he wanted. However, he noted that living in Spain and playing tennis at the academy has been worth the trade-off.

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Williams succeeds Svedeman as boys tennis coach at St. Francis High

Mike Williams is the new varsity boys tennis coach at St. Francis High.

Mike Williams

Hired last month, Williams replaces Dick Svedeman, who retired at the end of the spring season.

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