Oct. 23, 2017
Georgia Tech men’s tennis
“Our Stories” is a RamblinWreck.com feature that provides first-person stories from Georgia Tech student-athletes on their journey through academics, competition and life once their athletic careers are over. These young men and women represent the ideals of what it means to be a STUDENT-athlete at Georgia Tech. These are their stories.
Christopher Eubanks: Thank You, Georgia Tech
When I committed to Georgia Tech on July 28, 2013, at 7:29 a.m., I honestly had no idea what I was about to embark on. I was born and raised in Atlanta, and honestly never even thought about Georgia Tech. I didn’t know anything about the academics, the athletics, or even where Bobby Dodd Stadium was located. That’s why when Coach Thorne and Coach Schwandt first began to recruit me during the summer following my junior year of high school, I didn’t know what to make of it. I wasn’t the highest of recruits at the time but they saw something in me that many other coaches didn’t and that I definitely did not see in myself.
When Coach Thorne recruited me, he made it very clear that coming to Georgia Tech isn’t coming to a school for four years. It’s coming into a community of people that understand the challenges facing you and will do everything in their power to make sure that you succeed. It’s coming to an institute that will prepare you for whatever the working world has to offer. It’s coming to a family that will not only have your back for your college years, but for the rest of your life. That’s what I’ve found it to mean to be a Yellow Jacket.
My time at Georgia Tech has been more than I could even imagine. I have formed lifelong relationships and friendships with so many people. I have gained so much knowledge about, not only about school subjects, but also about myself. Georgia Tech truly tests like no other school in the country and I know for a fact that I would not be the person that I am today if it hadn’t been for this wonderful Institute.
There are so many people that I owe a sincere debt of gratitude towards. It’s going to be tough to try to name them all but please bear with me as I do my best.
Coach Kenny Thorne: I feel honored to have had you in my corner and on my court for the last three years. You helped me not only grow as a tennis player but also grow as a person and I will be forever grateful for everything that you have done for me. You told me from Day 1, that you believed that I could do something special. Honestly, I didn’t really believe it at first. You forced me to have faith and believe in the process. You never allowed me to stray too far away from what God’s plan has been for me and I can’t quite possibly thank you enough for all that you have fun for me and how much you mean to me.
Coach Derek Schwandt: I wouldn’t have been a Georgia Tech if it weren’t for you. You saw that scrawny kid in Mobile, Ala., and felt that he, with the right guidance, could be a very special talent. You were always there when we needed you and you always went the extra mile day in and day out. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you and I wish you all the best Derek. FIGHTTTTT!!!!
Michael Bewley: You took a scrawny 6’5, 152-pound kid and lit a fire underneath him. The weight room and I didn’t really get along before I got to Tech but you completely changed that. You motivated me to take better care of my body and treat my body like the “high performance sports-car” that it is. That fire that you lit still burns to this day and I just want to say from the body of my heart, thank you for all that you did for me. Not just in the weight room, but also in my mind. The love that I have for working out is because of you and I want to tell you thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
Trudy Wheeler: I honestly don’t know if I would’ve made it through Georgia Tech Academics if it weren’t for you. You were always there when I needed to complain about a class, or a professor, or practice or anything. Your title was academic advisor but you are one of the main reasons athletes can go through Tech and stay sane. You were always there to lend an ear to listen and I just want to thank you for all that you’ve done not only for me but for every student-athlete that you’ve come into contact with.
Nathan Rakitt & Kevin King: You guys are the epitome of what it means to be a Georgia Tech Student-Athlete. I consider myself so lucky to have had both of you as an example to model myself after. You both, on different occasions, really took me under your wings, showed me how to maximize my potential both on and off the court, and showed me what it means to be a true professional. NONE of what I have been able to accomplish at Tech could’ve or would’ve been possible without both of you. I want to thank you guys from the bottom of my heart and I know you will continue to have positive impacts on my life in the future.
My Teammates: You guys really don’t know how much you mean to me. I understand that I wasn’t always the easiest person to tolerate and I’m sure you each got sick of hearing my voice at some point. But you guys have always been right there. We worked day-in and day-out to push each other to new heights I think we accomplished that. WE made history at Georgia Tech guys and each and every one of us had a hand in doing that. I will miss being around you guys so much. From the trips, to the laughs, to the great memories and stories we shared, those will always be apart of who I am and I love you guys so, so much!
I would be here typing all day if I wrote everyone that has had an impact on me during my time at Georgia Tech. Others that I owe a sincere debt of gratitude to are: Daniel Taylor, Scott McDonald, Richard Stewart, Carla Gilson, Brad Horton, Professor Bill Todd, Professor Seletha Butler, Christen Steele, Derek Grice, Theresa Wenzel, and Leah Thomas.
I am extremely excited for this new chapter in my life. I know that there are going to be some difficult times ahead but I know that Georgia Tech has adequately prepared me for what’s to come and I can’t wait to embark on this journey. I am eternally grateful to Georgia Tech for my time there and it will always and forever be TO HELL WITH GEORGIA!!!