Perspective: Mississippi College Table Tennis Team

September 11, 2018

 

            Choosing a college is a significant decision with countless variables to consider. Among factors like class size and degrees offered, many students also look for potential ways to be involved on campus. For those select few looking for a well-established table tennis team to join, Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi, may just end up on their radar. MC offers a nationally-ranked table tennis team that quite literally attracts students from around the world. 

            One such student is MC table tennis team captain Harry Sharma. Harry is from Nepal and grew up in Japan, where he started playing table tennis at twelve years old. When searching for universities, Harry knew of MC’s positive reputation with international students. Harry also got in touch with MC’s news coordinator who happens to be the table tennis sponsor, Andy Kanengiser. After learning of the team’s success and concentration of other members from around the world, Harry’s decision was made. As captain, Harry strives to work with each of his teammates individually in order to enhance their performance as a team. Harry is a sophomore in computer science and is excited to witness the continued growth and improvement of the team.  

            Team member Jeremy Gore is a little closer to home. He grew up in Arkansas and came to Mississippi College for the accounting program. Although he had played table tennis recreationally growing up, it wasn’t until his freshman year on the team that he truly began to take it seriously. Now, only three years later, Jeremy plays internationally for United States Para Table Tennis tournaments. He traveled to Las Vegas at the end of June where 14 countries were represented by 97 players. Jeremy competed against athletes from all over the world and even received coaching from the national para team coaches. Jeremy says that it was a great learning experience, and it will surely serve him well as he continues to play for MC’s team. 

            Despite only being in its twelfth season, MC’s table tennis team is enormously successful. The team has placed in the top three of the iSet College Table Tennis National Championships twice in the past four years, even placing first in 2015. They travel all over the country to compete—from tournaments in New Orleans to the 2017 Nationals in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Both Harry and Jeremy agree that the best part of being a member of this team is the camaraderie among the players.  Jeremey particularly enjoys getting to learn about different cultures from his international teammates, and Harry appreciates the support that the team receives from both the school and their sponsor. As school resumes, so does the table tennis team’s rigorous schedule of two-hour practices four days a week. The six-member team already has their sights set on the 2019 championships in Greensboro, North Carolina, with the hope of improving their impressive record. 

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