Sydney Hassenbein

Sep 18, 2023

Meet Sydney, Drew’s older sister, his first and forever friend.

Dear Drew,

It was the week before the Roslyn JV tennis team tryout, and I couldn’t help but feel a mix of nerves and excitement. It was a moment I had been waiting for, but as the tryout got closer, I couldn’t help but second-guess my tennis abilities. My parents tried to give me advice, to reassure me of my abilities, but Drew just looked at me and laughed. Yes, he laughed. He simply said “Put on your shoes and let’s get on that court”. So, I did just that for the rest of the week and instead of worrying I did everything I could to prepare. At first I took offense by his laughter, but really his philosophy was spot on. Drew taught me that nervousness and excitement often go hand in hand, that it’s through embracing both emotions that we can truly reach our potential. So, I made the team, all thanks to you buddy.

A year goes by. Now it was time for the Varsity team tryout. I felt those same nerves like I did before the JV tryout. However, this time was different. This time… there was no Drew to calm me down, no Drew to coach me. Well, at least that’s what I thought… Finally comes the day of the tryout. Drew’s tips from last year are racing through my head.

I ended up making the team and got to play in the starting lineup in the very first home match. As I’m warming up for my match I look down and see a ladybug on the court. Seeing the ladybug on that very court during my first match felt like a message from Drew, a reminder that he was with me in spirit, cheering me on. It was like he was saying, “I’m here with you, just like old times. Just like all those times at the park, Syd”. I ended up winning that match. The victory was not just a personal achievement but a tribute to Drew and the love we both shared for the sport. The ladybug had served as a poignant symbol, reminding me that even in his absence, Drew’s spirit and love for tennis continue to inspire and guide me on my journey. Whenever I step onto the tennis court, I carry a piece of Drew’s passion and spirit with me, and will always remember that little ladybug that made its appearance at the most meaningful of times.

With love,