Steamboat Springs Winning on the court has become second nature for junior tennis player Jamey Swiggart.
There is no doubt Swiggart has left his mark on the tennis court the past several years, but he's impressing people with more than his racket.
Jason Colter, director of player development for the Colorado Tennis Association, says at times it's hard to tell whether the young Steamboat player is winning or losing when he's on the court, and that's a good thing.
"Players always look up to Jamey because of his demeanor on the court," Colter said. "It's hard to tell if Jamey is winning or losing when you watch him. Honestly, I don't think it matters because he's always a good sport."
Colter says Swiggart's behavior on the court is a big reason the Colorado Tennis Association honored him at last week's Hall of Fame banquet with the John Hough Award.
The award is presented each year to a Colorado boy, age 14 and younger, who exemplifies sportsmanship, leadership and achievement on and off the court. The award is named after John Hough, an exceptional athlete who played for Denver East High School.
"It's a very prestigious award in this age group," Colter said. "It's been handed out since 1958, and is very important to our organization."
Swiggart said he was thrilled to win the award, and he says maintaining a good image on the court is something he is always working toward.
"There are not that many people who can say they've won this award," Swiggart said after a practice session Tuesday at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs. "It's more meaningful than winning a tournament."
The award is the most recent success for Swiggart, who is an eighth-grader at Steamboat Springs Middle School. Swiggart also has been a member of Team Colorado for the past three seasons, and he was captain of that team last year. He is ranked 25th in the Intermountain Section and No. 3 in the state.
Swiggart has played in only one tournament this year, but he is scheduled to play in the Intermountain Boise Circuit Championships, which will take place in Idaho from Feb. 15 to 18. Swiggart is seeded fourth in singles and first in doubles in that tournament.