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Someone You Should Remember - Kathee Rengert.

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Someone You Should Remember
Kathee Rengert
 
As a teenager, Kathleen Rengert was a varsity field hockey standout. In her twenties, she was one of the first women to become a professional jockey and had a successful career in that field. So when Kathee picked up a racquet for the first time in her forties, tennis became the perfect outlet for her competitive athletic instincts.
 
You might think the transition from racing horses to tennis was not a natural one, and in this case, you would be right. Kathee was not a natural tennis player, but she was a passionate one willing to put in the hard work. She found an equally passionate teacher in Leslie Pixley at Brandywine Racquet Club, and the journey began!  According to Leslie "Kathee was unique in her approach to learning and players on her court would feed off of her concentration. If you were going to hit with Kathee you had to be prepared to work!" Kathee became a regular at BRC in contract and played for the Deltri team for many years. Her hard work paid off and she improved significantly and that just made her hungrier and more eager to improve.
 
When Kathee started playing USTA tennis in the early 2000's she very quickly took on leadership roles as team captain for multiple teams in the Delaware District. Kathee embraced the role and encouraged her team to play hard, enjoy their time on court, and to play one ball at a time. Line ups were carefully crafted and delivered to her team with messages of optimism and an enthusiastic "Lets Rock"  tagline! Having her team make districts was goal number one, sectionals was doable, and Nationals was a dream. Over the years Team Rengert's 55 & Over team was consistently in the Distirict playoffs but had only been to sectionals once prior to 2018. Rengert liked her chances going into the 2018 season!
 
As the 2018 Distirict playoffs approached, Kathee began to feel ill. Despite the pain she came out to Rodney Street to see her team clinch the District title. Sadly, shortly thereafter, Kathee was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and started chemotherapy just as her team was heading to sectionals. Inspired by Kathee's strength and resolve her team won sectionals and gained the National bid, a dream come true! Kathee lost her battle with cancer on October 6th, prior to her team going to Nationals, but her spirit and inspiration (and tennis racquet) went to Orlando where many a glass was raised in her honor. The team played their hearts out...one ball at a time.
 
Kathleen Rengert leaves behind a legacy of passion for the game, a never ending desire to improve, and a deep respect and love for those of us who play this game of tennis, including, or perhaps especially, Roger Federer ;)
 
 
 

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