Oswego East Student Athletes of the Week: Keertana Kota and Annie Carmody
Oct 26, 2016 07:45AM ● Published by Zac Sadek
Seniors Keertana Kota and Annie Carmody are the leaders for what is one of the most successful programs at Oswego East, girls tennis.
The girls team has sent multiple representatives to the state tournament, and has won conference five of the last six years. Although the type of pressure to continue the legacy of success may be daunting for some athletes, Keertana and Annie provide the leadership and experience to help keep the tradition of excellence, which is why they are this week’s Oswego East Student Athletes of the Week.
Keertana and Annie were thrust into the position of getting to know each other very early in their career when they were joined together as a doubles team. Playing as the 2nd doubles team, Keertana and Annie managed to take home top honors in conference both this season as seniors, as well as in 2014 as sophomores. Their ability to balance out each other’s strengths is what has made them so successful over the past four years.
Out of the two, Keertana has a more reserved personality, but she is a driven and hard-working student, and not just on the tennis court. Her successes in tennis, like qualifying for state as a junior, are a microcosm of her everyday successes, driven by a combination of hard work and late hours. “My typical schedule has me wake up and do homework, go to school, practice, and then do more homework and sleep (if there is time),” says Keertana. Keertana’s mother, Suresh Kota, understands just how hard her daughter works to be successful, saying, “[Keertana] is a very hard working and sincere person. Whatever she chooses, she always puts in her best effort.”
While Annie may be the more sarcastic of the duo, she is no stranger to hard work herself. Her father, Patrick Carmody, views his daughter as a, “perfectionist who works very hard to achieve her goals, both in the classroom and as an athlete.” Patrick has witnessed Annie’s growth from an inexperienced freshman to being named a team captain as a senior, and believes her best days are still yet to come.
Both girls have had success on the court, but the classroom is where both shine. Keertana carries a 4.3 G.P.A., while Annie has been able to maintain a 4.5, and both girls achieved a score of 32 on their ACT. Corey Puckett, Keertana’s AP Environmental teacher, discusses how Keertana’s ability to be a leader on the court translates to the classroom, “The one thing I’ve noticed this year is her eagerness to help her peers with labs and projects, and make them perform at a higher level,” says Puckett.
Steve Ideran, Annie’s AP World History teacher, notes how Annie uses her work ethic to achieve her goals in the classroom, “Annie is an excellent example of a successful student athlete because she simply puts the work in,” says Ideran. He goes on to add, “[Annie] is extremely talented as a writer, athlete, and student, and maximizes her potential with tremendous effort.”
Annie and Keertana’s coach, Peter Conrad, understands how difficult it will be to replace not only their talent, but also their leadership. “I could not ask for nicer girls to help lead our program this season, and cannot put into words how much they will both be missed next year,” says Conrad.
Although Annie and Keertana’s time will come to an end, their hard work in the classroom will give them a bevy of options to choose from in both universities and possible careers. Keertana is looking into attending the University of Illinois-Champaign, with a possible major dealing with computers. As far as Annie’s future, she will try and choose between Indiana University, as well as the University of Illinois, with a possible major in advertising/media or marketing.As seniors, Annie and Keertana have given just as much to OE in their leadership and academic success, as OE has given them. Replacing them will be difficult, but hopefully the leadership and maturity they displayed this season, and throughout their high school career, will leave a legacy with the underclassman. Having had so much success both in the classroom and on the court,
Annie and Keertana’s advice to underclassmen and freshman on what makes a high school experience successful is similar and succinct. Keertana advises students to, “Stay active in the Oswego East community and join some sort of sport or extracurricular,” and Annie echoes those sentiments by saying, “Make sure you get involved with at least one thing during your high school career.”
We wish these two leaders the best of luck as they finish their senior year.