The Minnesota bass fishing opener, which takes place Saturday, is one of the most anticipated days of the year for Luke Robertson. But not this year for the Bloomington Jefferson senior.
The No. 1 singles player on the Jaguars' tennis team, Robertson knows he will be preoccupied, having led the team to the No. 1 seed in Class 2A, Section 3, and also earning the top seed in the individual singles tournament.
"I went out on Lake Minnetonka last weekend on the [walleye] opener, and we caught a few walleyes," Robertson said last week. "This weekend is bigger for me, because I love bass fishing, but I'm probably going to take it off because of tennis."
Staff writer Jim Paulsen caught up with Robertson and talked to him about his role in returning Jefferson tennis to prominence.
Q It's been awhile since Jefferson has had such a successful season. Did you expect things to go this well?
A I knew we'd have a very good singles lineup and that we would be near the top of the conference, too. But I also knew that everything could change quickly, too.
Q What has been the key?
A We have good leadership. We're completely focused on the team. As Coach [Nick] Hupton says, "Team comes first." I agree with him 100 percent.
Q What type of things is the team doing better?
A The best thing that has happened is hanging out with the boys on the team. I've been on the team for six years now, and it's been such a blast this year. In some of the other years, it seemed like there were always little fights. But not this year.
Q As a six-year veteran, is it gratifying to see this team have such a good season?
A Oh, yeah. I've gotten so used to .500 teams and not winning the conference that it's great to win with guys I've grown up with.
Q You've battled a shoulder injury this year. Talk about it.
A My rotator cuff and my growth plate in my right shoulder are in the wrong position, so they rub on each other. It was causing a lot of pain. I got a cortisone shot that should last for the rest of the season.
Q Does it still bother you?
A Sometimes. But I should be able to make it through the rest of the season. After the season, I hope with physical therapy it will get better so I don't have to have surgery.
Q Can you make it to the state tournament?
A I hope so. I've never played in the state tournament before. I've put a lot of work in. It would mean a lot to me.
Q Any college plans?
A Either Murray State [in Kentucky] or Bemidji State. I want to be on a college bass fishing team.
Q They have those?
A Yeah. There are more than 700 college fishing teams.
Q Which would you rather do, participate in a big tennis tournament or a big bass fishing tournament?
A Sorry, but I'd have to go with the fishing tournament.