Bloomington Jefferson's Larson spread passion to tennis and more

  • Article by: JIM PAULSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 15, 2014 - 6:33 PM

Bloomington Jefferson’s Tim Larson refuses to limit his skill to a single passion.

hide

Bloomington Jefferson senior Tim Larson was the picture of concentration during a recent match against Lakeville North.

Photo: Photos by JIM GEHRZ • jgehrz@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

In the interest of balance, Tim Larson admits his bedroom is frequently in disarray. And his backhand is still a work in progress.

Other than that, the Bloomington Jefferson senior has been a rousing success in darn near everything he’s tried.

Larson is a three-sport athlete — soccer, basketball and tennis, his current and most successful sport — and is a team captain in all three. He’s among the top 10 singles players in Class 2A, the only one who doesn’t play tennis year-round.

He gets straight A’s with an academic schedule heavy on advanced placement classes. He’s an accomplished piano player who is teaching himself to play the guitar. On top of that, he also leads a confirmation class at his church.

“I’m always going,” he said. “I always have to be doing something.”

With all the 6-foot-3 Larson does well, there has to be an ego in play somewhere. Right?

Um, no. By all accounts, Larson is universally liked by his classmates. Friends watching a recent tennis match, which he won, were asked if there were any flaws in Larson’s game. Or his character, for that matter. The answers were bemused headshakes and quick “no” replies.

“I’ve asked him sometimes, ‘What’s it like to be you?’ ” said his mother, Lynn Larson, a teacher and tennis coach at Jefferson. “He’s such a great athlete and he’s so comfortable around people. He can talk to anyone. I tell him he’s socially gifted.”

As gifted as he is, it’s likely Larson will never be a state champion. And that’s perfectly fine with him.

Larson is one of a vanishing breed, particularly in the Twin Cities area. He’s a natural athlete who prefers to be very good in many things rather than a superstar in one. The one time he was urged to make a commitment to a sport, he promptly gave up that sport and turned his attention elsewhere.

“I played hockey until I was in fifth grade,” he said. “I was told that, if I wanted to get better, maybe I should think about giving up some of the other sports I played. So I thought about it and I gave up hockey.”

Not everything comes easy. Switching from sport to sport takes time and patience. He’s become a master at chipping away personal rust, using his natural skills to make himself valuable until his transition is smoothed over. That, he said, is the key to his success.

“I struggle to catch up for the first couple of weeks when everyone else has been playing for the previous two months or so,” Larson said. “But a lot of coaches actually enjoyed that I played three sports. They knew through the season that I was going to get better because I wasn’t playing in the offseason. They knew I had room to grow.”

Jefferson tennis coach Nick Hupton watches Larson and sees his powerful serve, big forehand and natural talents and can’t help but project how good Larson could be if he played all year, like most top players in the state.

“He’d be scary,” Hupton said. “He’s got the total package.”

But Hupton understands Larson’s desire to compete and his varied interests. “He likes other sports and that’s cool,” Hupton said.

Being a three-sport athlete at the varsity level is important to Larson. He knows the value of doing what he enjoys, even if he occasionally ponders a “what-if” scenario.

  • related content

  • Tim Larson is ranked No. 8 among Class 2A tennis players in the state and is the only one who is a three-sport athlete. If he played year-round? “He’d be scary,” coach Nick Hupton said. “He’s got the total package.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Atlanta 127 FINAL
Cleveland 98
Phoenix 111 FINAL
Charlotte 106
Dallas 117 FINAL
Detroit 106
Utah 105 FINAL
Miami 87
Orlando 92 FINAL
Boston 109
Brooklyn 89 FINAL
Toronto 105
Memphis 117 FINAL
San Antonio 116
Milwaukee 97 FINAL
Portland 104
Houston 115 FINAL
Denver 111
Indiana 100 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Ottawa 2 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 72 FINAL
Ball State 52
SIU Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Campbell 70
St Francis-PA 67 FINAL
Duquesne 52
North Florida 77 FINAL
Florida State 93
Catawba 69 FINAL
George Mason 99
Ferrum 48 FINAL
High Point 106
Hampton 55 FINAL
Illinois 73
Gardner-Webb 65 FINAL
Jacksonville 68
Longwood 60 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 71
Arkansas State 69 FINAL
Miss State 55
Tennessee 72 FINAL
NC State 83
NC A&T 55 FINAL
Ohio State 97
Manhattan 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 65
Robert Morris 57 FINAL
Toledo 83
Char Southern 58 FINAL
Wofford 64
Kennesaw St 90 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
Barber-Scotia 52 FINAL
NC Central 108
Detroit 70 FINAL
UCF 75
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 73
TX A&M-CC 73 FINAL
Denver 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 61 FINAL
Houston 56
UT Martin 54 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Milligan 76 FINAL
Louisiana 115
Abilene Christian 44 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 83
USC Upstate 73 FINAL
Memphis 83
Alcorn State 56 FINAL
Murray State 94
Central Mich 80 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Georgia State 54 FINAL
Old Dominion 58
TX-Pan American 69 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
SMU 67
Texas State 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 66
SC State 39 FINAL
Texas Tech 101
Missouri State 70 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Chicago State 60 FINAL
Western Ky 75
Morehead State 50 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Northern Colorado 82 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 92
Winthrop 62 FINAL
Auburn 80
New Mexico St 55 FINAL
Baylor 66
San Diego St 62 FINAL
Cincinnati 71
Eastern Mich 46 FINAL
Michigan State 66
Loyola Marymount 58 FINAL
Stanford 67
Incarnate Word 82 FINAL
Grand Canyon 80
Northeastern 58 FINAL
Cal Poly 60
Central Arkansas 55 FINAL
New Mexico 76
Howard 45 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Portland 73 FINAL
UNLV 75
CS-Northridge 56 FINAL
Oregon 79
Grambling St 38 FINAL
Washington 86
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 FINAL
Auburn 62
Northern Colorado 43 FINAL
South Florida 84
Youngstown St 73 FINAL
Robert Morris 65
Siena 75 FINAL
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
(1) South Carolina 69 FINAL
Hampton 49
Fla Gulf Coast 91 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 46
Texas Southern 92 FINAL
Houston Baptist 80
Northwestern 88 FINAL
UNLV 84
NC A&T 70 FINAL
Appalachian St 72
NC Central 52 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 67
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Cincinnati 52 FINAL
Northern Ky 66
Alabama State 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 77
Morehead St 69 FINAL
USC Upstate 75
Arkansas State 59 FINAL
Kent State 44
American Univ 60 FINAL
Manhattan 52
UNC Greensboro 60 FINAL
St Bonaventure 78
Arkansas-Monticello 56 FINAL
Northwestern St 61
Prairie View 70 FINAL
Sam Houston St 51
McNeese State 59 FINAL
(3) Texas 76
Yale 90 FINAL
Wagner 65
Oakland 61 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 54
Eastern Kentucky 62 FINAL
Alabama A&M 56
SIU-Edwardsville 47 FINAL
Northern Ill 69
McMurry 25 FINAL
TX-Arlington 82
Portland 65 FINAL
Eastern Washington 72
North Texas 42 FINAL
San Francisco 60

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close