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Boys’ Tennis Team Honors Wahlert Coach

Sometimes it’s bigger than the game.

For the Linn-Mar High School Boys’ Tennis team, last week’s match against Dubuque Wahlert Catholic High School was much bigger than the game.

Linn-Mar High School Boys Tennis Team wear Team Westy t-shirtsJust before announcing the starting matchups, Linn-Mar Head Boys Tennis Coach Chris Wundram addressed both teams saying “we’ve been following you guys and coach, we’ve been following you too.” Tennis is a small community, Coach Wundram went on to say, “We’re inspired by your courageous battle.”

That battle is stage 3 pancreatic cancer that Coach Julie Westercamp was diagnosed with in February.

After asking Wahlert if it was OK for Linn-Mar to be part of their team, each player donned a t-shirt that said “Team Westy.”

“I have known Coach Westercamp over the years through coaching and playing in USTA tournaments/leagues,” he said, “I found out about her cancer diagnosis when the season began in March and was trying to think of a way to encourage positivity and empathy when Dubuque Wahlert came to play us.” 

Coach Wundram said he wanted to make sure the message was of unity and included both teams.  “I thought by having both teams wear the same “Team Westy” shirt it would show unity and strength while encouraging her along in her battle.”

Linn-Mar High School Boys Tennis Team Player shakes had with Dubuque Wahlert CoachesThe team collected donations to pay for the shirts with the intention that anything over that amount would be donated to Coach Westercamp’s GoFundMe page. In the five days since the team had “Team Westy” night, they have collected enough money to pay for shirts, purchase an additional 20 shirts for the rest of Wahlert team that wasn’t in attendance, and make a donation for over $200 to her cause.

The gesture was a very emotional one for Coach Westerkamp who hugged and thanked every player on Linn-Mar’s team – Team Westy.