MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Boys State Tennis Tournament, like all of them, runs smoothly because of the people behind the scenes.
In the case of tennis, Doug Peltier has been overseeing it as site manager for more than three decades. He has been a teacher and a coach, and he appreciates what this means to the kids involved.
For Peltier, it is all in the details.
“The small things, like just even having water on the court. Here at this facility, we have the electronic … scoreboards, which not all places have when they run tournaments, so we get to have that as a convenience for spectators that are watching it,” Peltier said. “And then, of course, it’s formatting. We depend on coaches to comply with time schedules.”
What he really loves about this annual four-day ordeal is not the science of the project, but the art of it: The people, the passion, the moment.
“It’s kids. You see them compete, the determination, the will that they have to do the very best, it’s awesome,” Peltier said. “I was in athletics basically all my life, and an educator for 36 years, so I always appreciate and enjoy watching kids.”
That is what this becomes about, quickly: People that have put so much time into trying to do something special.
“Seeing kids compete, you know, they make mistakes, but they try so hard. It’s hard not to sit and go, ‘Ah, that was great,’” he said.
And seeing it with a front-row seat.
“We’ve had three-and-a-half-hour matches, and I’m amazed at these kids, and … a couple of them have been cramping up pretty well, even though it’s just not that hot, but the strain on their bodies in a three-and-a-half-hour match is pretty amazing,” he said.
That is why he keeps coming back, because there is something magical about youth and competition, and days that cannot be repeated.
“It is fun to watch growth, and in my case, I’ve been running the tennis tournament for so long that I’ve been seeing children of kids that have played,” Peltier said. “I’m seeing generational changes here for me [laughs]!”