Clinton-Massie senior Clayton Amburgy will not make history this season on the Lebanon Road tennis courts.
But because he is a history buff, Amburgy has adapted well to the Covid-19 created situation.
On a trip to Gettysburg, Pa., site of one of the key battles in the Civil War, Amburgy was reminded to fight through whatever situation you are in.
“We have to keep on battling our way through life knowing that not everything may go as wished,” he said. “When things don’t go as planned, you need to adapt to the situation in order for the best possible result.
“I believe we (spring athletes) could be seen as the Confederates of the war, that things didn’t go our way but we still gave our best effort.”
With 39 career singles wins and 19 of those coming last season, Amburgy was on a track to challenge Brian Lamke’s all-time career victory mark (58) as well as the single season win total (19) at Clinton-Massie.
That won’t happen, though. Nor will an opportunity to play in the state tennis tournament. Amburgy, a member of the class of 2020, had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve this season and how hard he had to work to get there.
Amburgy said he’s been running on the bike trail, lifting weights and playing tennis a couple times a week when the stay-at-home order closed schools.
Prior to that, he was “practicing five days a week for the past year” in preparation for a lengthy, rec0rd-setting season.
“I believed that as a team we had a chance to be the best team Clinton-Massie has had in a very long time,” he said. “I had worked for four years trying to make it to state and I knew that senior year was the year with the greatest chance of that happening.”
Though tennis is now Amburgy’s main sport, he has played baseball, basketball, wrestling, football and cross country over the years. He’s also completed a full marathon and four half marathons.
A three-time winner of the Wilmington American Legion Post 49 Americanism and Government Award, Amburgy has earned the top history score at Clinton-Massie three years in a row and was honored as the county’s top scorer by Post 49 two times. The local post did not award a top-scorer two years ago, Amburgy said.
Amburgy, who plans to play tennis and major in accounting and marketing at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, said Jim Wagner’s U.S. history class at Clinton-Massie Middle School was one of his favorite subjects in school.
Amburgy and his family have traveled the country to study our nation’s history. Among the locations they’ve visited — the home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the Breakers, the first Baptist church in the U.S. built in 1638, all located in Rhode Island; Ford’s Theater where Abraham Lincoln was shot; Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson; Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington; and Gettysburg, Pa.
And it was at Gettysburg that Amburgy felt history come alive and, unbeknownst at the time, helped him deal with a canceled senior season. Gettysburg was one of the key battles of the U.S. Civil War. A three-hour tour over the battlegrounds of southeastern Pennsylvania is something that will stick with Amburgy forever.
“It was fascinating to see how the battle between the North and the South played out,” he said. “Being there on the fields where it all happened was very moving to me.”
The guide for the Amburgy tour made an impression.
“He showed us the different fighting locations of the battle and my favorite part of it was when he took us to a place filled with giant boulders where soldiers fought each other and hid behind them when the battle was at its peak,” he said. “Going on the battlefields and looking out in the distance it almost seemed as though you could hear the battle still going on, like there were sounds that could be heard but you couldn’t quite point out what it was and where it was coming from.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email email@example.com or on Twitter @wnjsports