Schrader signs tennis letter with Bethel

By Steve Sell
December 15, 2017
Shane Backhus

Nolan Schrader has known since his freshman year that he will be on the McPherson High Wall of Fame.

Schrader won the Class 4A state doubles title with Gallagher Martin in his freshman year in 2015, assuring him of a spot on the Wall. But he can't be inducted until after he graduates in May as he'll go on in December of 2018.

But his resume has grown since his first year. He combined with Kento Aizawa to take second in the state in his sophomore year, then last year validated his state championship when he teamed up with Kaden Stewart to win his second title. They are both back this spring, which means they could possibly repeat.

So it’s a decorated player that Bethel College will be adding next year as Schrader signed a letter of intent with the Threshers during a ceremony on Friday.

"On my visit, there was really just a sense of community," Schrader said. "I have good connections with a couple of guys on the team. It really just came down to me trusting them with my future and looking at the bigger picture that it's not more about tennis, but about preparing you for life."

Schrader has been remarkably consistent with records of 34-6 in 2015, 35-4 in 2016 and 30-4 last year. 

And he'll be disappointed if it isn't more of the same this spring.

"Obviously anything less than first place is going to be a disappointment," he said. "But I don't really look at it in terms of that. For me it's more about improving myself as a player so I can play at the next level and just be satisfied with my level of play."

Schrader and teammate Jarrod Nowak have been playing tennis three nights a week in Salina during the offseason to stay sharp.

Schrader says he knows at the next level he will be greatly tested.

"The biggest thing I want to improve on is my serves," he said. "It's hard for me to have a big serve because I'm not very tall, so I have to utilize placement and spin. Also I need to improve on my power. There's a lot of good players in the KCAC."

McPherson High coach Tyler Brown is pleased his senior standout will be continuing his career at the college level.

“I’m excited for Nolan to be going on to play college tennis,” Brown said. “He will be a big addition for Bethel College. I think he will do very well there. I'm sure Nolan could have gone to a number of places to play, but at least for us here in McPherson we will get to see him play for another four years since Bethel is so close. That part is extremely nice. I don't know a whole lot about (Bethel) coach (Richard) Southern, but from the times I have talked with him or we have crossed paths he seems like a great guy. He has always been interested and outgoing to not only Nolan, but all our McPherson tennis players. I think Nolan will enjoy playing for him.”

Schrader is undecided on a major.