Millikin Tennis co-captain leads by example
Millikin University Men's Tennis team co-captain Colin Sandgren, a junior psychology major from Forsyth, Ill., has a tattoo on his right forearm that reads "HOORAY." One of the reasons he got the tattoo a year ago was a conversation-starter.
"I have a brother, Seth, who has Down Syndrome and throughout his early years he had a lot of brain seizures and he was not able to speak," Sandgren said in a recent interview with the Herald & Review. "The one word that he could say was 'Hooray.' He would scream it, he would say it all the time and he will look at you and smile and say it louder."
Sandgren added, "It has become something to keep me grounded and it reminds me that if someone who has gone through as much as (Seth) has can find a reason to smile and be joyful and be impactful on other people than I can find that in myself as well. It is a reminder to be nice to people."
The Millikin men's tennis team recently finished in sixth place at the 2018 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) Men's Tennis Championships held May 3-5.
In its first match in the consolation round Millikin defeated Elmhurst College 5-0. Millikin also picked up three points in doubles action. Sandgren and Jacob Palley, a sophomore sports management emphasis major from River Forest, Ill., won 8-1 at number one doubles. Sandgren also competed in the tournament as the No. 2 singles player.
Millikin tennis director Alex Covington said Sandgren is a silent leader.
"Colin's a work horse. He's a lead-by-example kind of guy." Covington said. "His strokes definitely pack a punch. He is one of the taller guys on the team and he has that natural ability to hit the ball hard, but he also makes sure he is hitting a good ball, too."
Sandgren noted, "When I look at my tattoo, I think of my brother mostly and remember to smile, have a good time and don't take life too serious when you are on the court or off the court. I look down and just smile sometimes."