MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There are a lot of differences between Minneapolis Edison and The Blake School.

The Blake School is a perennial power in tennis – and Minneapolis Edison is not.

So when the two were matched up last week, there was little doubt what the result would be.

“We knew we were coming here to get our butts whooped,” Edison coach Chad Forde said.

But the real result was something much more meaningful.

“We played a match, and he served it and I returned it, and I found that my racket broke,” Edison player Fatee Xiong said. “I didn’t have a backup racket.”

Normally that means you have to forfeit. But Xoing’s Blake School opponent ended up handing over his backup racket.

And that random act of kindness blossomed.

“Three nights ago, I got an email from Taylor Parr, one of their co-captains,” Forde said.

All of a sudden, that one racket turned into more than two dozen, as Parr had collected them all from his teammates.

“Truthfully, their worst racket that they gave us is better than the best racket we’ve had all year,” Forde said. “So when we got these rackets, it was like kids opening up Christmas presents.”

The Edison players are now Blake’s biggest cheering section.

“Our kids look up to these Blake kids because they know how good they are,” Forde said. “And they’re even bigger role models here because they play with class and sportsmanship, which is what it’s all about.”

Both teams say supporting each other is some of the most fun they’ve ever had playing tennis.

David McCoy


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